Frederick George Wilson, died 3rd August 1916, aged 26.
Private 27751, 12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
One of 12 children, Frederick was born at Marlingate Cottages, between Goudhurst and Bedgebury, on the 22nd August 1889. Unlike most of his young neighbours, he moved away from the district, becoming a barman in London. In the autumn of 1915 he enlisted in one of the Bantam battalions created exclusively for men of small stature. They landed in France on 6th June 1916, but Frederick Wilson died of wounds caused by shellfire on the old Loos battlefield only two months later. He is buried in Béthune Town Cemetery.
Kent & Sussex Courier 25th August 1916
Private F G Wilson
Mr and Mrs Wilson of the Forge Farm in this parish have received notice that their fourth son, Private Frederick George Wilson, 12th Suffolks, (aged 27) was killed “somewhere in France” on August 2nd. After working a little while on the Forge Farm Wilson went to Strood as a pot-boy. He then went to London, after two years and worked his way up to the position of barman, and was well spoken of by all his employers. He joined the Middlesex Bantams in the early autumn of last year, was transferred to the 12th Suffolks and went out to the Front the first week in June last so that he was out only two months. The first letter from his Lieutenant to his mother stated that he had received many pieces of shell in various parts of his body and at first was very cheerful, seemed to be going on well and was expected to be sent home. He was “very brave” and his superior officer was “sorry to lose him”. On the 5th August the Lieutenant wrote again – “Since last writing to you I regret very deeply to have to inform you that Private Wilson died of his wounds on Wednesday night. May I express my sincere sympathy with you and his relations at your loss? His name is now among those of honoured heroes who have given their lives for their King and Country and their homes and loved ones.