As often happened in Victorian times, the boys in the workhouse were encouraged to join the Forces. Ernest joined the Navy and became a ship's cook. Charles joined the Cameron Highlanders and in 1911 was a musician stationed in Aldershot. Fred himself joined up as a Boy Soldier in 1897, age 14. He became a Drummer in the Royal Munster Fusiliers and saw action in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. His medals held clasps for Wittenberg, the Transvaal and Cape Colony. He was then sent to India and whilst there, transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to the UK in 1906 and discharged as unfit for further service in April 1907.
|Bugles & Drums of RMF in South Africa. Which one is Fred?|
War was declared in 1914, and Fred went overseas with 26th Field Ambulance, as 3rd WFA was re-named. He was promoted Corporal but in the winter of 1916, he was taken ill. On 20 Jan 1917, he died, probably in a CCS near Dury Hospital on the Amiens Road, France. He was buried in their cemetery, but after the war, his grave was moved to the Australian Cemetery at Villers-Bretonneaux along with over 400 of his fellow casualties, where he now lies with over 2,000 war casualties.