Thomas Frederick Rose, L/Cpl 31761, 7th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment
Killed in action 14th November 1916 in Somme, France, aged 23
Thomas Frederick Rose was born in spring 1893 in Langley, the eldest son of Ann and Matthew Rose, a fireman at a silk works (i.e. he tended the boilers for the silk works steam engines). He was known as Fred.
In 1901, seven-year-old Fred was living at 48, Langley with his parents and younger brothers Arthur Henry (5) and Harold (1). By 1911, the family had moved the short distance to house number 21, Langley, and included another child, Frank, then aged 6. Fred, Arthur and their father were all employed at Whiston & Sons silk print works in Langley, Fred and Arthur as silk dyers and their father was still a boiler fireman.
Fred received his education at nearby Sutton St James’ School, and attended St James’ Church Sunday School and Park Green United Methodist Chapel in Macclesfield.
In the summer of 1912 Fred married Emily Hughes at the Park Green Methodist Church in Macclesfield. Emily later lived at Rodney Street in Macclesfield.
Fred enlisted with the 7th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment in Hyde on 9th April 1915. The 7th South Lancashires, also known as the 7th Prince of Wales’s Volunteers, came under the command of the 56th Brigade in the 19th (Western) Division.
After training, Fred was drafted to France in September 1916. By 13th November 1916 the Batallion was at Ovillers Post. A, B and D companies were detailed for a raid, leaving at 11pm that evening. Most of A and B companies had returned by 9pm the next day but only 20 out of 91 men from D company came back. Casualties were:
Officers: 1 killed, 2 wounded, 2 wounded and missing, believed killed.
Other ranks: 15 killed, 38 wounded, 4 missing.
Fred Rose was one of the men who lost his life on 14th November 1916 at the age of 23.
Fred’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 8th December 1916:
LANGLEY – LOCAL SOLDIER’S DEATH – IN FRANCE ONLY SIX WEEKS
We regret to state that official notification had been received of the death in action in France on November 14th of Lance-Corporal T. F. Rose, of Langley.
A native of Langley, the Lance-Corporal was 23 years of age, and received his education at Sutton St James’ School. He was formerly connected with the Sunday School there, and latterly had attended the Park Green United Methodist Chapel, Macclesfield. Lance-Corporal Rose joined the colours on April 9th last year, and had only been in France six weeks. Prior to enlistment he was employed at Messrs. Whiston & Sons Printworks, Langley. He is married, and his wife resides in Rodney Street, Macclesfield. A brother of the late Lance-Corporal, Arthur, is serving in the Army.
The following announcement was printed in the ‘In Memoriam’ column of the Macclesfield Times of 15th December 1916:
ROSE – In ever loving memory of my dear husband, Lance-Corporal Fred Rose, South Lance Regt., who was killed in action 14th November, 1916.
He left his home in perfect health,
He was so good and true;
I little thought how soon he would be
Laid in a hero’s grave.
I know not the parting,
Or what the parting cost,
But God in His great mercy
Has gained what I have lost.
From his sorrowing wife, Emily.
In Macclesfield, L/Cpl Fred Rose is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Church Street West Methodist Church war memorials, and the Park Green United Methodist Church Roll of Honour.
Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the Sutton Walker Lane and St James’ Church war memorials, and on Langley war memorial.
Brother of Arthur Henry Rose who also served with the Army.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
UKBMD websites: Cheshire marriage index
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WW1 British Army Service Records 1914-1920
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 8th, 15th December 1916