NORTHEN Frederick Herbert

Known information

Frederick Herbert Northen and his brother George both died in the First World War. A third brother fought and survived. They were the sons of Thomas and Mary Northen of Thorpe-by-Water. Fred was born in the village on 30 August 1891 and educated at Market Harborough Grammar School. When he turned 16 he started working for Barclays Bank at Peterborough and then moved to Newark with the bank. A keen sportsman, he was a prominent member of cricket clubs in both towns and also enjoyed hockey. When war broke out he joined the 7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and was sent to the Western Front in July 1915 where he was involved in a number of battles until December. He transferred to the 6th Battalion Berkshire Regiment in August 1916 and was fatally injured at Glencorse Wood on 11 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The battalion had taken over from the 7th Bedfordshires in front of Glencorse Wood and during the day one Company of Berkshires supported a counter-attack by the 8th Norfolks. However, the Berkshire's war diary described it as a "quiet day" in which a plan to clear the wood of the enemy was cancelled at the last moment. At some point Fred is believed to have sustained serious wounds from which he died on the following day, 12 August, at No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station. His death came two weeks before his 26th birthday. He was buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, grave V.E.10. His elder brother George had died 17 months before, also fighting around Ypres and is remembered on the Menin Gate. Captain N B Hudson of the 6th Battalion Berkshire Regiment, wrote: "Both as a soldier and a man I had the greatest regard and affection for him, as also, I know, did every officer and man in his company. He did his duty splendidly and cheerfully, and no man could have been more trustworthy. I knew he had been hit badly, but thought he would pull through, and it was a truly great blow to me to hear of his death. I shall always miss him, both as a personal friend and a loyal and brave non-commissioned officer." Second Lieutenant H R Hooper, Platoon Commander, who was wounded on 31 July wrote: "It will be some consolation to know that his life was not thrown away, for our battalion attacked and captured very valuable ground in one of the worst parts of the line under very difficult circumstances. I never wish to have a better or braver man in my platoon, and if he had been spared he would have become sergeant, or taken a commission." Fred and his brother George are remembered on Seaton's war memorial.

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  • Seaton Church
  • Seaton Memorial
  • Brandhoek New Military Cemetery 2
  • Brandhoek New Military Cemetery
  • F H Northen 3
  • F H Northen
  • F H Northen RR1a

User contributions

3 images Some pictures of the headstone, taken 13 December 2014
By John Stokes on Saturday 13th December '14 at 7:53pm
A Rutlander, living in Belgium

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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