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WW1 Casualty: Corporal 240241 Fred Chesworth -

Corporal 240241 Fred Chesworth

Prescot Reporter 15/10/1917

Unit/Regiment 1st/5th Bn., South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death 31/07/1917 Age at Death 23
& Reference
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
CWGC Family Details (if shown) Son of Emma Chesworth, of 71, Warrington Rd., Prescot, Lancs., brother of Harry Chesworth.
Census Details 1901 Census -

Harry was aged 9 and lived at 19 Cyprus Street, Prescot, with his father George, a 40 year old barrel maker, mother Emma (38) and siblings Albert (16), Lucy (11), Fred (6), Arthur (4), Eva (2) and Lily (2 months)

1911 Census -
The family now lived at 71, Warrington Road, Prescot. Parents George, a 50 year old Blacksmith, and Emma, 48, had been married for 28 years. Their children are listed as Harry (19, a Teams Man on Farms), Fred (16, a Brass Finisher), Eva (12), Lily (10), Hilda (7) and Frank (5).
Birth/Marriage/Death Registrations Birth Registered Q4/1894, Prescot, 8b, 687
SDGW – Where Born Prescot
Enlisted Prescot
How Died Died of Wounds Theatre of War France & Flanders
Notes The Medal Index Card at the National Archives show that Fred Chesworth had previously served as a Private and Corporal, Number 1789, with the 1st /5th South Lancashire Regiment
Research Ref. No. P049

Service Details

Fred was the brother of Harry Chesworth. He was born on 19th September 1894 in Prescot, the son of george and Emma Chesworth.

Fred Chesworth's original service number of 1789 suggests that he enlisted at the outbreak of war in August 1914. The 5th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, had just started its annual training in camp when war broke out in August 1914. It was sent to Edinburgh until October, then moved to Tunbridge Wells until February 1915. It was then ordered to France, sailing on the 13th aboard s.s. King Edward, arriving at Le Havre the same day. Fred Chesworth was with this original landing, as denoted by his Medal Index Card.

By the start of the New Year in 1917, the battalion was in the Ypres Salient, carrying out normal trench relief duties. By the beginning of May, however, activity was on the increase as the British forces prepared for the forthcoming Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele. On 29th May, the battalion was sent to Garrison Railway Wood and then in the first week of June they moved to a new sector near to Zillebeke. Towards the end of June they were withdrawn to rest and train at St Omer in preparation for the offensive, due to commence on 31st July. On 20th July they returned once more to Ypres and continued training until they moved into assault positions on the 30th.

At 3.50 a.m. on 31st July the British bombardment began and the leading waves of infantry closely followed, taking the first objective (the 'Blue Line') in their stride. At 5.05 a.m. as arranged, the battalion and the Liverpool Scottish went forwards towards the second objective, known as the 'Black Line'. Once the Blue Line was passed, however, the enemy counter barrage became heavier and more effective. But the battalion continued their advance, shell-hole by shell-hole, to within 200 yards of their objective. Here the advance came to a brief stop under German machine gun fire, but two tanks arrived and took out the German positions.

The battalion continued their advance and they swiftly took the enemy trenches, clearing the dug-outs with bombs and bayonets. Consolidation took place and by evening the new line was secure. The battalion had lost 1 officer and 27 other ranks killed, 5 officers and 133 other ranks wounded, 1 officer and 11 other ranks reported missing.

Fred Chesworth died of his wounds that day. He was taken from the battlefield to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations where he died and was buried at Lijssenthoek.

From the Prescot Reporter of 14th September 1917

On the 24th July 1918, the Parish Magazine had published a list of known casualties to date. Then on the 26th August, the magazine reported 'Omitted from the Memorial Service List was the name of Fred Chesworth of 71, Warrington Road. He and his brother Harry (on the list) were both corporals in the 5th South Lancs'.

His service is commemorated on the EFD Roll of Honour

The Register of Soldiers Effects

The transcribed entry from the Scout Organisation 'Great War Roll of Honour' courtesy of

An extract from the 'Workers Union Record'

Fred Chesworth's Medal Index Card showing his arrival in France on 13th February 1915

Corporal Chesworth's CWGC headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

Fred and his brother Harry are also commemorated on the family grave in St Mary's Churchyard. Picture courtesy of Neil Harper

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