Monday 27 April 2015

WW1 - Frederick Walter Fullick

Frederick Fullick was born in Kingsley in December 1889, to George and Jane (nee Burningham) Fullick.
His oldest brother, Harry had joined the Army Service Corps just one year after Walter’s birth and was finally discharged, having served in South Africa, in 1902. The 1911 Census shows Frederick living at Deane Bridge (below) with two of his brothers (though not Harry)
Deane Bridge c 1905
and sister, a nephew and a lodger. Both Frederick and his brother Thomas may have worked for Mr James Knight, at Dean Farm next door, as they are both described as “farm labourer” and “houseman on farm”  respectively.
Dean Cottages today
 Frederick enlisted at Alton on 1st November 1915 for “Short Service” (ie for the duration of the war), aged 24, as a Gunner and became 62612 Gunner Fullick with the 79th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He listed his oldest brother, Harry, as next of kin. His Enlistment Descriptive Report noted that he was 6ft. 0.25 inches tall. He would have embarked from Avonmouth on 27th April 1916 and arrived in Boulogne the next day. He never went home again.

As a gunner he would have been using heavy howitzers which sent large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire and used to destroy or neutralise enemy heavy artillery. In March 1917 the 79th Battery was transferred to the 1st Army and remained with them until November 1918 and he was wounded in the back and on the leg on 23rd August 1917, probably at Paschendale in Flanders. On the 24th August he was admitted to the No. 9 Red Cross Hospital at Sangatte, Calais where he was making a good recovery until he was wounded again (probably by bombing at the hospital) and he died on 30th September 1917.

His sister Jane received three letters one when her brother was wounded the second time and another dated 5th October 1917, from the Duchess of Sutherland.
Dear Miss Fullick
I am very sorry indeed to have to tell you that your brother has died of wounds in hospital here. We did all we possibly could to make him comfortable, but he was very badly wounded. He has been buried in a little cemetery, just outside Calais, beside many more of our brave men who have, like your brother, laid down their lives so nobly for King and Country. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great sorrow.
Yours sincerely, with many thoughts

A third letter, dated 16th October, was from, I suspect, his Commanding Officer, who wrote that he thought that Fred’s absence from the Battery would only have been temporary- so he expressed his shock at hearing of Fred’s death. 
This feeling, I can assure you, is shared also by all the men in the Battery, for he was respected by all. ………
But it must be remembered that all these happenings are witnessed by the eyes of the Maker, who does all things for the best.
I was in charge of the party of men who carried him to the dressing station and I can certainly assure you he was perfectly calm and collected. He was known as the coolest man in the Battery………….
These letters received by Jane Fullick, were subsequently printed in the Alton Gazette.
Frederick was buried in the newly-opened Les Barraques Cemetery (1C6) at Sangatte.

A letter dated 6th June 1919 was sent to Harry Fullick, c/o Rev. CA Mason at Kingsley Vicarage requesting information about his living relatives and eventually his effects, medals and memorial plaque and scroll were sent to his sister Jane.
His surviving siblings were Harry, aged 50 who still lived at Dean Cottages with Thomas and Jane, and Alfred, George, Eliza and Ellen who lived locally.
He is also listed on the Bordon Roll of Honour.

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