1914 - 2023

The Marston Lads

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Fredrick Perrin

Killed in Action

26th July 1917

Aged 20

The 2nd Battalion

South Lancashire Regiment

13 Cross Street

Fredrick Perrin was born and bred in Marston and lived at 14 Cross Street with his parents George and Jane Perrin and his six siblings. By 1911, one sibling had died.

Father and sons, including Fredrick, all worked at the nearby Salt Mines. Fredrick attested at Northwich just 15 days before Christmas on the 10th December 1915 and held in reserve.

Fredrick was posted to the South Lancashire Regiment on the 26th July 1916. Fredrick arrived in France and the Somme on the 2nd of December 1916 and where his main battalion remained throughout the war.

On the 1st July 1917, the American army arrived in France for the first time. Fredrick would have seen them and may well have been with them as part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) that moved from France towards Belgium a few weeks later.
The American army arrive in France for the first time July 1917.
Fredrick Perrin died of wounds on the 26th July 1917 in Belgium.

It's difficult to know exactly what happened to Fredrick, but some clues are to be found in his war records.

It says he was part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) and he died at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, which was the main medical clearing station in Belgium. Given he was in France, there can be no doubt that the BEF he was apart of had travelled into Belgium ready for the main Battle of Ypres which was to start a few days later on the 31st July 1917. This battle cost between 400,000 and 800,000 casualties from both sides.

It was during these first initial skirmishes in July 1917, that Fredrick Perrin was wounded and then transferred to Lijssenthoek Military Hospital, which also contained the cemetery. It was here that Fredrick Perrin succumbed to his wounds on the 26th July 1917 aged just 20 years, and he was buried there.
'Lijssenthoek Military Hospital'
I have visited Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery a number times, it's the 2nd largest war cemetery in Belgium with 10123 identified burials.

It contains burials from 1914 right up to 1923. Fredrick was in the right Hospital and would have been well cared for. The cemetery is unusual as it contains burials of all nations including British, French, German as well as a number of Americans, not all were repatriated to the USA.
'On this day, the 26th July 1917, Marston had lost 16 of its lads in the First World War'

Many Military Commanders and Politicians felt a few months remained before final victory in the field. Sadly, this was not the case and young Fredrick Perrin would not be the last Marston Lad to die.

This World War was about to find new ways of killing but this time on an industrial scale and cost the lives of 12 more Marston lads. The village of Marston would only have to wait 21 days since the death of Fredrick Perrin before weeping again as the news spread that William Rowe, aged just 19 years, had become the 17th Marston Lad to be killed in the First World War. The heartbreak of loss would continue.

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium

Tony Hayes