Frederick Fox


Hussars (Dragoon Guards) 20518  
Dorsetshire Regiment 14017 5th Battalion

Lea Mills postcard

Fred Fox in WW1

From Family History notes and photos of Peter Patilla & June Lowson
03 July 1915 sailed from Liverpool
10 July 1915 Mudros
23.July 1915 Imbros
06.August 1915 landed at Suvla Bay
16 December 1915 Mudros then Imbros.
01 February 1916 Alexandria.
03 July 1916 sailed from Alexandria
09 July 1916 arrived Marseilles
05 August 1916 killed
Frederick Fox was one the men who volunteered on 17th August 1914.

Fred Fox and his father back of Fred fox phto

On the back of this photo of Fred Fox and his father Frederick was written:
Fred, accidentally shot in France Aug 7th/16
Shot by Sentry who afterwards turned his gun upon himself & emptied the magazine into himself.
Originally he served in the cavalry unit of the Hussars but after a short time was transferred to the 5th Dorsetshire Regiment. He was in the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign and came through unscathed.
In 1916 he was moved, with his Battalion, to Arras, just north of where the Battle of the Somme was raging. The Chaplain of the regiment wrote to his parents, Frederick and Mary Jane on the 12th August telling them that their son had been shot in error by a sentry. Fred has been out on patrol during the night-time and for some reason seemed not to have answered the sentry with a password; a consequence of which resulted in him being shot.
Fred had written to his parents shortly before he was killed stating that "they were giving the Germans hell". He had been out on patrol twelve nights out of fourteen and thought it not so bad even though he got soaked crawling through the grass and undergrowth. He also wrote that "the Germans have got their wind up. I crawled out of the trenches yesterday afternoon and never even had a shot fired at me."

Fred's sister, Ella Fox, married Herbert Smith whose great Uncle, Job Smith, was responsible for the famous Matlock Tramway which ran up Bank Road. Ella also founded, and was editor of, the local newspaper the "Matlock Mercury" (formerly the "Coming Events").

Medal Index Card
Awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals.
He entered the Balkans 9 September 1915 before being transferred to France.
Killed on 05/08/16
Dorset Reg 14017

Formerly he was with the Hussars (Regimental Number 20518).

Newspaper report

High Peak News 19 August 1916

newspaper photo of Fred Fox WW1

The Chaplain of the Dorset's at the French Front, wrote Mr and Mrs Fred and Fox of Knowleston Place, on Saturday morning, announcing their son, Sgt Fred Fox had been shot dead by a sentry in mistake. It appears that Sgt Fox had been out on patrol duty in the night-time and forgot to answer the challenge of the sentry on his return. He was then shot down. Deceased was 28 years of age and had served all through the Gallipoli campaign without a scratch. Before the war he worked at Lea Mills. He was of wonderfully strong physique as may be assumed from the fact that in the dire sickness which assailed our troops in the Gallipoli he was never unwell. He was able to lift, raid and carry him and his kit on one occasion when help was badly needed. He had been in the Army above a year.
The letter from the Chaplain was as follows:
5th Dorsets, 7-8-16
Dear Madam, – I regret very deeply to have to tell you that your son Sgt Fox, was killed by a most unfortunate accident on Saturday morning. He had been out patrolling and have forgotten to give warning to the sentry, and when he came back in the darkness he was fired at and mortally wounded. He lost consciousness, and passed away painlessly very shortly afterwards. It was a singularly sad thing, but nobody could be blamed. It was a death on service for his Country just as if he had been killed by the enemy. Everybody misses him, and deeply regrets his loss and we all feel deep sympathy for you. May God make it up to you for what you have lost. We laid his body to rest in the cemetery by the side of another of his Regiment, and his comrades have covered the grave with flowers and ferns. May I offer you my sincere sympathy. –
F.R.BAIN Chaplain
His last letter to his mother spoke of the fact that they were still in the trenches and "they were giving the Germans hell." He had been out 12 nights out of 14, and did not consider that was so bad – wet through every night with crawling about in the grass. He went on to write: I think the Germans have about got their wind up. I crawled out of the trenches yesterday afternoon, and never even had a shot fired at me."
In their sad loss the whole of Matlock sympathises with the bereaved parents and relatives of so brave and fine soldier of the King


High Peak News 16 December 1916

Newspaper report of Jesse Fletchers death in WW1
The Parish Church was packed on Sunday evening for the service. The list of dead soldiers numbered 36, since the 31st October 1915. The list read out from the pulpit by Canon Kewley at the close of the sermon was taken alphabetically. The congregation stood during the reading of the names of heroes.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Surname Fox
Forename Fred
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Corporal
Regiment/Service Dorsetshire Regiment
Unit 5th Bn
Date of Death 05/08/16 aged 28
Additional Information Son of Mary Jane Fox, of Derwent House, Knowlestone Place, Matlock, Derbyshire, and the late Frederick Fox.
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference I.F.5


War graves certificate for Fred Fox in WW1

Fred is remembered on several war memorials –

Photos Peter Patilla

Lea Mills War Memorial

The war memorial plaque outside Lea Mills

Stalkholmes War Memorial
Names on Starkholmes War Memorial

Starkholmes War Memorial

Matlock War Memorial
names on Matlock War Memorial

Matlock War Memorial

Names on WW1 plaque in St Giles Church Matlock

Plaque in St Giles Church, Starkholmes
J. Fletcher; F. Fox; F. Hawley


1901: Starkholmes, Matlock

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Frederick Fox Head 43 Baker of oatcakes Starkholmes
Mary Jane Fox wife 34   Alfreton
Fred Fox son 13   Starkholmes
William H Fox son 10   Starkholmes
Elizabeth G Fox daughter 7   Starkholmes
Ella Fox daughter 4 mo   Starkholmes

RG13 piece 3267 folio 47 page 14

1911: Starkholmes, Matlock

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Alfred Carline Head 54 Mason Starkholmes
Mary Elizabeth Carline wife 53   Tuxford
Frederick Fox boarder 23 Labourer Starkholmes
George Edwin Smith Booth nurse child 2   Derby

RG14PN21210 RG78PN1262 RD439 SD2 ED12 SN77