Frederick Newell

Newell, Frederick

Service number: G/83480 | Rank: Private | Regiment: Middlesex Regiment.  Formerly of Norfolk Regiment (6571)

Died of wounds, December 28, 1917, in Egypt.  Aged 25.



Frederick was born in March 1884 to an agricultural labourer named Thomas Newell and his wife Elisabeth who lived in Town Street. By 1901 17-year-old Frederick was learning his trade, but starting at the bottom, as a bricklayer’s labourer while living at home with his parents in Town Street. Ten years later he had progressed to become a bricklayer in his own right for Mr Froud of Brandon. By that time he had married Mary Elizabeth Royal at St Peter’s Church in Brandon on 16th November 1907 and had his own family. Their home was also in Town Street, at 8 White Horse Street, and there they brought up their five children – Ellen, Frederick, Mary, Robert and Walter. Hi wife worked for Mr Rought-Rought at the fur factory along George Street.

In February 1916 Frederick went along to Norwich and enlisted into the Norfolk Regiment and was given the Service Number of 6571. At this time he was aged 32 and still employed as a bricklayer. He was not a tall man and his Service Record states he was 5-foot 3¼-inches tall. His record also stated that at some time in his life he had recovered from rheumatic fever. On 31st May 1916 he was mobilised and posted into the 3rd/5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.

A year after enlisting, in February 1917, he was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and given a new Service Number. A few months afterwards, in July, he was at Southampton where he embarked on a ship destined for the Middle East. On 8th August his ship docked at the Egyptian port of Alexandria and Frederick disembarked and joined his comrades at the front a few days later. In August of that same year he was posted to yet another battalion, although remaining with the Middlesex Regiment, this time it was the 2nd/10th Battalion.

During December 1917 Frederick was a soldier of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force that had captured Jerusalem on the 9th. On the 26th/27th December the Turkish Ottoman forces, who had evacuated the city just a few weeks previously, launched an attack in an effort to re-take the city. The British were ready for them after intercepting a Turkish radio message, however the fighting was fierce but the attackers were beaten off. Sadly in the fighting Frederick was severely wounded with a wound to the head. He died in a field hospital the following day.

After Frederick’s death his widow received a pension of 37 shillings and 11 pence a week for her and the five children left behind.