Today we commemorated the 101st anniversary of the death of Bourne man Fred Lloyd of the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment who was killed in action this day, 24th April 1917.
Fred was born in Bourne in early 1879, the son of George Lloyd b 1835 in Edenham, a farm labourer and his wife Hannah Currell b 1843 in Watton Hertfordshire.
George and Hannah had 6 children although one had already passed away before the 1911 census.
Lewis Lloyd, 1872, Edenham
Emma Currell, 1873, Edenham
Charles Lloyd, 1875, Edenham
Sarah Ann Lloyd, 1876, Edenham
Fred Lloyd, 1879, Bourne
In 1881 Fred, being only 3 years of age was living with his parents at 4 Spring Cottage, South Fen, Bourne. 10 years later the family were living in West Fields Bourne.
By 1901 Fred was with the Army and most likely in India. After another 10 years the 1911 census shows that Fred is living with his parents again but this time in Burghley Street, Bourne and he is working as a Bricklayer’s Labourer at the age of 32.
Fred first attested to the army in November 1896 at the age of 18, joining the 3rd Battalion South Wales Borderers. He declared that he had previously been serving in the militia and that he had a mutlilated little finger on his right hand.
Fred had a chequered career once being imprisoned for striking a superior officer during his home service and then after being posted to India he was imprisoned once for striking a superior officer and twice for using insubordinate language.
in 1904 whilst in India he signed up to extend his service to a total of 8 years.
He eventually was posted home in 1905, 4 years after his final imprisonment and then served another 3 years with the regiment at home even after being put on Army reserve in January 1905. His first period of service ended on 22nd November 1908.
Fred enlisted in Bourne and rejoined the army in 1914 and was sent abroad, as an old contemptible in 1914 earning him the 1914 star, which was later added to with the award of a clasp.
We can only assume that this was with either his old regiment or with a different regiment to his eventual posting in the 8th Lincs. The 8th Lincolnshire Regiment was not sent abroad until September 1915 and therefore the exact movements of Fred or the date of him joining the 8th Lincs is unknown.
We can only say for certain that he was with The Battalion in the last month of his life.
Taken from the 8th Battalion Diaries:-
The Battalion trained at Grimsby during August 1914, and then at Halton Park in November. The Battalion moved into billets at Leighton Buzzard for the winter of 1914
In the spring of 1915 the Battalion moved to Halton Park Camp, Wendover and miniature rifle practice commenced. After completing the musketry course and a Review by Lord Kitchener, the Battalion moved to Witley Camp North, marching past His Majesty the King and Lord Kitchener, 12 August 1915.
All the Battalion commanders had been in retirement at the outbreak of war. Of the 21st Division in which the 8th Lincolnshire were attached only 14 officers had any previous experience in the Regular army.
The Battalion entrained for overseas service at Milford Station on 9 September 1915 leaving England the next day, sailing via Folkestone to Boulogne. For a week the Battalion stayed in the Watten area before receiving orders to move to the front.
A long and really arduous march took place which led the Battalion to the front and their first engagement of the war, The Battle of Loos.
During this battle an immediate gain was overturned and the highly inexperienced Battalion suffered tremendous losses.
In their first battle the 8th Battalion lost 22 of their 24 officers. 471 other ranks were killed, wounded or missing that being nearly half of all men in the Battalion.
The next major offensive for the Battalion was during the battle of the Somme in July 1916. The Battalion saw action in Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Fleurs-Courcelette, Morval, Gaudecourt, Transloy Ridge and eventually in November the Battle of The Ancre.
During the spring of 1917 the German Army retreated to the heavily fortified defensive Hindenburg Line.
When the retreat started the 21st Division were at Halloy spending a period out of the line in training exercises.
On the first of April the Battalion attended a voluntary Church Parade at Neuville Au Cornet before the following day being route marched to Denier for an attack on a trench system. Over the next days the Battalion moved to Avesnes-le-Conte, Givenchy-le-Noble, Lattre St Quentin before arriving at Duisans to withdraw equipment ready for their move onto the assembly area at Arras.
The Battalion entered the Battle of Arras at Battery Valley on the 9th April 1917 at 4pm digging in until 8pm.
The Battalion moved east and halted around midnight. At daybreak considerable enemy activity was observed round Monchy-le-Preux, also enemy troops and transport moving north east from Roeux. Artillery was asked for in both cases but there was no response.
At 9am the Battalion prepared to advance to its original objective as soon as the 111th brigade advanced on Monchy.
At 10:30 am Major Greatwood was informed that the 8th Somerset Light Infantry were in Monchy and that he must support them. They advanced to teh valley but in this advance they suffered heavy casualties as they had no artillery support.
At 4pm Major Greatwood issued orders to attack Monchy with the 8th Somerset on the right, Lincolns on the left. Again with no artillery support they had to dig in on high ground receiving orders to attack at dusk.
When they had already opened out for the attack, orders arrived from Brigade cancelling the attack and consolidate the position and patrols were posted in front.
By the end of the 10th April the Battalion had 9 officers wounded, 30 other ranks killed, 187 other ranks wounded and 8 missing.
12th April 1917 – Arras
battalion withdrawn from the line and moved to Arras
13th April 1917 – Duisans
Battalion moved to Duisans and billeted there for one night.
14th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved to billets in Beaufort.
16th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets
17th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets, training carried out
18th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets, training being carried out.
19th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved to billets in Montenescourt.
20th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved by buses to Arras – Battalion in support.
23rd April 1917 – Arras
Battalion in attack. Middlesex right front battalion. York and Lancaster regiment left front Battalion. Somerset Light Infantry Right support Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment left support Battalion.
Casualties, 20 officers killed, 2nd Lieut W.S.Dickinson, D.J.B Busher. Other Ranks killed 20., Wounded 102, missing 14.
25th April 1917 – Arras
Battalion in reserve.
Lance Corporal Fred LLoyd was reported as being killed in action on 24th April 1917.
Grantham Journal Saturday 5th May 1917
LOCAL CASUALTIES:- Lieut Arthur Wherry was wounded in action last week and on Thursday reached Dover. He is now in Hospital at Wanstead, suffering from a fresh wound in the thigh caused by shrapnel. The wound is not of a serious character and Lieut Wherry is favourably progressing towards recovery. News was received last week that Pte Parker had been killed in action. Pte Parker, up to the time he joined up was employed by Messrs. Foley and Butler and was closely associated with the Wesleyan Church and School being an energetic worker. On Monday, an intimation was received at Bourne that Pre Fred Lloyd of Burghley Street has been killed in action. Pte Lloyd had spent several years in the Army and on the outbreak of war was called up as one of the reserve men. He had been home several times during the intervening period and had not long been out on active service after his last leave. On Wednesday the death in action of another Bourne boy was notified, Pte George Marvin, son of Mr and Mrs Hy Marvin, Bedehouse Bank. He went out with his regiment early in the New Year and leaves a young widow and one child.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
In memory of Lance Corporal F Lloyd, 8464, 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 24 April 1917
Remembered with honour, Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension.