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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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Frederick Gratwicke (1895-1917) – LCpl SD/676 7 th  Bn   Royal Sussex Regiment Frederick   Gratwicke    was,   like   his   brother   Albert,   single,   living   at   home   with   his   parents   in   Shipley   and   working   as   a   labourer   at   the time   of   the   1911   census.   He   had   been   born,   baptised   and   educated   in   Shipley   and   his   school   record   suggests   that   he   was   a   bit   of   a handful   being   noted   in   the   log   book   as   having   to   be   reprimanded   for   “throwing   stones”   and   “damaging   a   post   box   at   Dragons   Green”.   He left school at the age of 14 in 1909 in order to start work. He   signed   up   with   the   11 th    Sussex   Regiment   at   the   same   time   as   Albert   and   his   cousin   Peter   but   at   some   point   he   was   transferred   to   the 7 th Battalion.   As   his   service   record   has   not   survived   it   is   not   possible   to   determine   the   date   of   his   transfer,   nor   is   it   possible   to   determine just   when   he   received   the   promotion   to   Lance   Corporal,   the   rank   given   in   his   CWGC   records.   However   as   the   RSR   medal   rolls   record   him as Private it is quite possible that LCpl was a temporary or acting rank, not a confirmed one. We   cannot   say   therefore   if   Frederick   was   with   Albert   and   Peter   in   the   actions   that   resulted   in   their   deaths   but   we   do   know   that   he   had transferred   to   the   7 th    Bn   by   the   spring   of   1917.   It   was   with   the   7 th    that   he   took   part   in   the   assault   on   Arras   during   which,   on   the   9 th    April 1917, he died. Following   a   spell   in   camp   in   the   early   part   of   March   1917,   the   7 th    Bn   moved,   between   the   30 th    March   and   the   3 rd    April,   into   caves   and cellars   in   the   Cambrai   Road   in   Arras.   On   the   4 th    April   Battalion   HQ,   A   and   B   Companies   moved   into   the   front   line   trenches,   leaving   C   and D Companies in the caves. Over   the   next   four   days   there   were   a   series   of   attacks   on   the   enemy   trenches   and   wire   cutting   sorties   carried   out   by   C   and   D   Companies in   preparation   for   a   major   attack   on   the   9 th .   C   and   D   Companies   re-joined   the   Battalion   in   the   early   hours   of   the   morning   and   at   5.30   the attack was launched. The   War   Diary   reports   considerable   success   and   the   capture   of   100   prisoners   and   two   machine   guns   but   does   not   give   details   of casualties.    What    it    does    report    is    a    “digging    in”    over    the    next    three    days    and    the    battalion    gradually    being    moved    back    to    its subterranean   “billets”   in   the   Ronville   caves   in   Arras.   It   further   reports   that   over   the   period   from   the   4 th    to   the   12 th    April   casualties   were   4 officers and 102 OR wounded, 7 OR missing and 42 OR either killed in action or died of wounds. Frederick was one of these. Frederick   was   awarded   the   British   War   and   Victory   Medals   for   his   service.   He   is   buried   at   Faubourg   d’Amiens   Cemetery,   Arras,   France and remembered on Shipley War Memorial.  
The Fallen