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Frederick William Thurman was born in 1890 in Newark and was the son of Frederick a wood turner and Florence Emily Thurman née Dixon Ballard. His father was Frederick, born in 1867 in Newark, and his mother Florence Emily Dixon Ballard, born 1866 in Surbiton Surrey. They were married on 5th August 1888 at the North End Weslyan Chapel at Newark and went to live at 1 London Road, Newark. They had a further son Bert born 1891 but he was to die on 15th July 1895 aged 4 yrs, at Newark. On 23rd November 1897 Florence petitioned at the High Court of Justice in London for a divorce from her husband Frederick on the grounds of adultery (with Mary Ann Morton of Worksop and another unnamed female) and cruelty. The decree nisi was granted on 2nd May 1898 and decree absolute on 14th November 1898. His mother later remarried in 1899 in Newark to a Fred Stavely a maltster who had been born in 1860 in Besthorpe. In the 1911 census his mother and stepfather are to be found living at 60 Holborn Ave, Sneinton, and are shown as Fred Staveley 51 yrs a maltster, he is living with his wife Florence 45 yrs, they have no children. Frederick William is not shown with the family as he had enlisted into the Army in 1904.
08 Jul 1916
816286 - CWGC Website
74 Bowbridge Road, Newark.
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Private Frank William Thurman, enlisted on 21st June 1904 in Newark, signing on for 12 years with the colours. He was 14 yrs and 4 months of age, he was a clerk. He served with 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire) Regiment, he saw service in India from 12th December 1906 until 2nd October 1914, he returned home until landing in France on 4th November 1914. He was killed on 8th July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial,Somme, France.
Pte. Frank William Thurman, 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire) Regiment, described his part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in a letter home it was published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 12th April 1915. “IN THE THICK OF IT. “NOTTINGHAM SOLDIER’S ACCOUNT OF A GREAT FIGHT. “Writing to his mother in Nottingham Private F. Thurman, of 1st Batt. Sherwood Foresters, gives a stirring account of the battle of Neuve Chapelle. He says: “My regiment was in the thick of it. We had orders to leave billets, and made straight for the trenches. I really don’t know where the artillery got all their guns from, but it was deafening whilst they were pell-melling the German trenches. When got to the point of attack we opened out in one line. Then came the order 'Fix bayonets.’ Well, all had a slight idea of what to expect. But we did give them some lead and steel when we had to charge them, and we found we had gone as far as we possibly dare. All night long we were digging ourselves in, and by morning both sides were entrenched again. “For the day remained quiet, but in early hours — to be correct at 4.45 a.m. — the enemy were seen to be making a counter-attack— that is trying to retake their lost ground. It came soon. They advanced in thousands, in fact like lot of sheep running loose. On account of their strength we had to retire to another trench about 200 yards in the rear. We got there just in time. They took the one we had just left, and they let us have it pretty hot. Then they tried to advance further, but they found their mistake — it was like running their heads into a brick wall. They retired again, leaving hundreds of dead and wounded. Then came our turn again. “We had the order to prepare for a charge and regain our trenches. This we did and a good scrap ensued. But they don’t like cold steel, and they either handed in or made a bold run for it. Some got away; many did not. We lost heavily, but nothing compared with their losses. I came out without a scratch.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
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