Fred Gidman, Private 7268, 9th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 3rd May 1918 in Belgium, aged 33
Son of Mrs Gidman, of 44 Fence Street, Macclesfield; husband of Sarah Elizabeth Sims (formerly Gidman), of 37 Waterloo Street, Macclesfield.
Having previously served with the 4th Cheshire Regiment from 1903, Fred was recalled to the Cheshire Regiment after the start of the war in 1914.
Fred’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 18 May 1918:
SIGNALLER F GIDMAN
Mrs Gidman, of 37 Waterloo St, received word on Saturday that her husband, Signaller Fred Gidman (33), Cheshire Regt, was killed in action on the 3rd inst. He was called up as a Reservist at the outbreak of war and took part in the retreat from Mons, and was drafted to Mesopotamia, where he remained 18 months. He was invalided home suffering from the effects of sunstroke, and on recovering was sent to France some eight months ago. Educated at Daybrook Street School, under Mr D Armstrong, the deceased joined the Cheshires at the age of 19, and at the expiration of his period of service with the Colours returned to the Lower Heyes Mill, where he had previously followed the occupation of a weaver.
An entry for Fred Gidman was printed in volume 4 of De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1918:
GIDMAN, FRED, Signaller, No 7268, 9th (Service) Battn The Cheshire Regt, son of the late John Gidman by his wife Emily (44 Fence St, Macclesfield) daughter of William Sims; born Hurdsfield, Cheshire 14 Feb 1885; Educ Townley Street School, Macclesfield; was a weaver; enlisted in the Cheshire Regt 2 Nov 1903; served three years with the Colours and joined the Reserve; was called up on mobilisation 5 Aug 1914; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from that month, taking part in the Retreat from Mons and in many engagements; was accidentally injured at the Battle of the Marne through the collapse of a building, and invalided home in Nov 1914; on recovery, proceeded to Mesopotamia in Sept 1915; was invalided home suffering from heat-stroke in April, 1917; returned to France 7 Sept following, and was killed in action at the Battle of Vimy Ridge 3 May 1918. Buried at Voormezeele. His Commanding Officer, 2nd Lieut A B Inchboard, wrote: “He was a noble fellow, one whom we all loved and esteemed… and all the men of my command join me in sympathizing with you in your sad bereavement, when you lost so honoured and trusted a man.” He married at Hurdsfield Church, 24 Aug 1911, Sarah Elizabeth (37 Waterloo St, Macclesfield), daughter of Walter Clark, and had three children: Edward, born 29 May 1913; James, born 22 December 1915; and Selina, born 29 January 1918.
Private Fred Gidman has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 61 to 63. at the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Fred Gidman, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.