CWG: Private Frederick Down

Private Frederick Down

Frederick Francis Down is one of those servicemen whose life is destined to remain lost to time. Born in Chudleigh, Devon, most of the information available about his life comes from one document – his naval service record.

The document gives his date of birth as 15th November 1897 and confirms that he enlisted on 23rd November 1914. Frederick was 5ft 2ins (1.57m) tall, had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Frederick signed up as a Private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and, at the time of joining up, had been working as a butcher’s boy, living in Fore Street in the village of his birth.

Private Down served at the regiment’s depot in Deal, Kent. But he was only there for a short time: he was invalided out of the service – for reasons unrecorded – on 9th June 1915.

At this point, Frederick Francis Down’s trail goes cold once again. His gravestone confirms that he died on 11th April 1916, at the age of just 18 years old. He was laid to rest in Chudleigh Cemetery.

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