Lance Corporal Frederick Gough
Died 17th June 1916, aged 22 years
Fred was born on 13th April 1894 in the hamlet of East Wall near Rushbury. He was baptised on the 2nd September 1894 in St. Peter, the parish church of Rushbury, a village some five miles from Church Stretton in the Much Wenlock direction.
Saint Peter’s church, Rushbury, where Fred was christened.
His parents, John and Esther Gough, had two other children, a daughter Annie three years older than Fred and later another son Leonard, who was five years younger than Fred. The father was a labourer and 37 years old at the time of Fred’s birth. By the time of the 1901 census father John had become a coal seller.
On the 9th October 1905 Fred aged 11, was admitted to the Cardington Church of England School and the record states that he was previously at school in Rushbury. He was there until 27th June 1908 when he left to go to work, aged 14 years.
Three years later, in the 1911 census, he was listed amongst the staff of The Grove, All Stretton, a private ladies’ lunatic asylum. He was the House Garden Boy, aged 16.
With the outbreak of the Great War Fred aged 20, enlisted on the 11th of November 1914 in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and given Service Number 15468. His previous occupation is stated as gardener. He remained in Britain throughout 1915.
On the 1st of January 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Training Corp in Grantham and given a new service number of 5590. On the 24th February 1916 he was dispatched to France with the British Expeditionary Force. His unit left from Southampton and arrived in Le Havre on the 2nd March 1916.
Three weeks later on the 13th April 1916, he was admitted to hospital in Rouen, sick with pleurisy. He was then shipped back to England on the hospital ship St George on the 1st May 1916. He was sent to the Military Hospital in East Dulwich. His medical report states that he was “seriously ill with pleurisy with effusion (fluid on the lungs), physical signs of tuberculosis in both lungs. He has been continuously exposed to all weathers for a month. He had had perfect health prior to enlistment.” The Medical Board, on the 29th May 1916, declared that Fred was permanently totally incapacitated as a result of active service and should be discharged as medically unfit. He died in the Military Hospital in East Dulwich, Grove, on the 17th June 1916 of tuberculosis of the lungs.
His name is inscribed along with the other 118 on the base of the memorial.
He was one of the 119 soldiers who died at this hospital out of 12,522 who were treated here during the Great War.
He was buried in his home parish churchyard of St. Peter in Rushbury. His name is recorded along with nine other men from the parish, on the memorial plaque to WW1 dead from the parish of Rushbury in St Peter’s church, Rushbury. In addition his name appears on the Church Stretton war memorial, probably at the behest of his former employer, Dr. McClintock of The Grove ladies’ asylum.
His soldier’s effects of £9 and 7shillings were sent to his father at 8 East Wall, Salop.
Photo of St Peter Church courtesy of Amanda Twohig.
Photos of Dulwich Military Hospital and WW1 Memorial courtesy of the War Memorials Trust.