CWG: Private Frederick Jury

Private Frederick Jury

Frederick Jury was born in 1882, the oldest of four children to William and Lucy. William was a farm labourer from Minehead, Somerset, and this is where the young couple raised their family.

When he left school, Frederick found work as a labourer for a stonemason, but he had his sights on a higher calling. In March 1903, he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry and, after two years’ service, he was assigned to the Army Reserve.

By the time of the 1911 census, Lucy has been widowed; she was working as a charwoman in Minehead and living in a small cottage with her youngest daughter – Frederick’s youngest sister – Alice. Sadly, there is no record to confirm where Frederick was at this time.

When war broke out, Private Jury was called back into service. He was dispatched to France on 19th September 1914, and served there with his regiment for eight months before returning to England in May 1915 and transferring across to the Agricultural Company of the Labour Corps.

Private Jury’s time in the army seems to have been a troubled one. He was pulled up at least six times between 1903 and 1905, for being absent from parade, and for smoking in the stables. He was subsequently censured for failing to attend training during both 1910 and 1911, and the list went on into his time on active duty. He was punished for overstaying his pass in July, October and November 1915, for having a rusty rifle on inspection in August 1915 and for quitting his guard duty in January 1916. On each of these latter occasions, he was brought back by the Military Police and fined.

Frederick’s service records also confirm that he was treated in hospital for gonorrhoea in January 1905, something that may well have been par for the course for young soldiers at the time.

The continuous lapses in duty, however, may have proved too much for his regiment, and Frederick was discharge from military service on 8th March 1916.

At this point, Frederick Jury’s trail goes cold. The only further information available is that he died on 13th January 1919, at the age of 38 years old. He was laid to rest at Yeovil Cemetery in his home county of Somerset.

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