Fred Lomas, Private 302455, Depot, Manchester Regiment
Died of influenza 3rd November 1918 at Chester, England, aged 32
Fred Lomas was born in Macclesfield and baptised on 30 May 1886 at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Elizabeth Ann (nee Lomas) and Thomas Lomas, a hairdresser of 1 Cross Street, Macclesfield.
In 1891, five-year-old Fred was living at 1 Cross Street with his parents and older brother Harry, aged seven. By 1901 Fred had left school and was employed as a domestic gardener. The family, living at the same address, then included five more children: Edmund (13), Frank (10), Annie (6), Clara (3) and Nellie (2).
Fred married Frances Ellen Buckley at the Brunswick Methodist Church on 6 April 1912, and their son, John Fred, was born the following year. Fred was the gardener at Sutton Hall and the family lived at Sutton Lodge.
Fred enlisted on 18 August 1916, and was drafted to France in March 1917. He was severely wounded in the head on 21 March 1918; this was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 5 April 1918:
Mr and Mrs Lomas, Cross Street, Macclesfield, have received news that their son, Fred, was wounded in the recent fighting in France and is now in hospital.
Fred was repatriated to England and treated for about six months at Netley Hospital, Southampton, and Hurdsfield House Hospital. When discharged from hospital he was no longer well enough to serve on the front line and was first sent to Scarborough for a short convalescence and then sent to work on the land. He became ill with influenza and died at Chester on 3 November 1918.
The death of Private Fred Lomas was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 8 November 1918:
DIED – PTE FRED LOMAS, Manchester Regt, son of Mr and Mrs Lomas, 1 Cross Street, Macclesfield, died at Chester on Sunday from pneumonia following an attack of influenza. Pte Lomas, whose wife and child reside at Sutton Lodge, was 32 years of age. He enlisted on August 18th, 1916, and was drafted to France in March 1917. Severely wounded in the head on March 21st 1918, he was under treatment at Netley Hospital and later at Hurdsfield House Hospital. He was discharged from the last-named institution about a month ago, and sent to Scarborough, being transferred to Chester and placed on farm work. Returning to Chester he was afterwards posted to Hazel Grove, and was sent back as unfit for work. He had an attack of influenza last week, which developed into pneumonia, and he died as stated. Pte Lomas was educated at the Centenary School, and attended Brunswick Chapel. Prior to enlistment he was employed as a gardener at Sutton Hall.
Private Fred Lomas is buried at Sutton St James Churchyard, Macclesfield, in Grave Ref. New Part. 162. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Fred Lomas, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield
Cheshire Non-conformist Records, 1671-1900 (FamilySearch): Brunswick Methodist Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 5 April 1918, 8 November 1918