NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY. Courtesy CWGC
Private Frederick Guest Crowe 8488 died in the Lazarette Prisoner of War Camp on 26th September 1916, aged 24.
Frederick was a former pupil of Manchester Grammar School and accountant’s clerk, enlisting in A Company of the 2nd City Battalion with Arthur Bell on 3rd September 1914. The Roll of Honour shows he trained with I Platoon.
I Platoon of 17th Battalion from Book of Honour. Courtesy Manchesters.org
Frederick had been born in Kendal, Westmorland in 1894 and lived with his parents in Cheetham Hill when he enlisted. Private Crowe’s father, Oswald Byrne Crowe, M.A. (Civil Engineer), and Sarah Crowe had two other children; daughter Matilda and a younger son, Randal Byrne Crowe. Randal 301085, served with the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was awarded a Military Medal. Following promotion to Lance Corporal, Randal was killed in action four days before the Armistice on 7th November 1918. He is buried at GHISSIGNIES BRITISH CEMETERY
Frederick’s Service Record survived the blitz. He was hospitalised at Heaton Park with Laryngitis and disciplined for ‘Not complying with an order’. This was witnessed by Lance Sergeant Alfred Norbury* and resulted in 5 days Confined to Barracks, as awarded by Captain Lloyd. In common with the majority of the Battalion, Frederick entered France on 8th November 1915.
The Service Record also recites the sorry times for Frederick’s mother. Sarah Crowe received notice that he was missing on 7th August and record of his capture seems to have arrived in October 1916 – after Frederick had died. Corporal J. Green of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Sergeant J Higgins of the East Lancs. Regiment both wrote to Sarah in October 1916 informing her of the death of her son. She lived at 81 Bignor Street, Hightown, Cheetham Hill.
German records are translated and show that Frederick had been captured on 9th July 1916 – the day of the disastrous withdrawal from Trones Wood . The Manchester Evening News** reported he lay wounded for three days before being picked up by Germans and taken to Dulmen Camp. The German documents show Frederick had died of wounds in the groin. He died at 8am on 26th September 1916 and he was buried in Ohrdruf Camp Cemetery with Military Honours. After the War, Frederick was exhumed and re-interred in NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERYin Hessen, Germany.
*Lance Sergeant Alfred Norbury 8245 also trained with I Platoon. Alfred was wounded in the assault on Montauban as recounted by Arthur Bell
“The next casualty I remember, although there must have been many on the way, was Sergeant N. (Norbury) shouting “elbow” in a very queer tone, just as we jumped into and out of the trench – by now we were in open order.”
Alfred recovered and was discharged in October 1917.
**MEN Article source Bernard on Great War Forum.