Frederick Day

Born: 1896
Died: 10.3.1917
Service number: 201054 (3301)
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment / Service: Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of Annie Amelia Day nee Burton

War Service

On 10 November 1914, he enlisted in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, joining the reserve battalion. This battalion, initially known as the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was to provide replacements for the first line battalion.

Later the battalion became the 2/4th Battalion, KOYLI and was brigaded with similar Territorial units in 2/3rd Brigade, West Riding Division. The Brigade remained in the United Kingdom and during 1916 was based at Salisbury Plain and Bungay in Suffolk, before moving to winter quarters at Wellingborough.

In December 1916, men of 2/4th Battalion, KOYLI, were given leave prior to joining the British Expeditionary Force in France. During his leave, on Christmas Day 1916, Lance Corporal Frederick Day married Annie Amelia Burton, the daughter of Joseph and Lily Beatrice Burton,at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood. Both bride and groom gave their home address as Smith Street, Outwood.

On 13 January 1917, Lance Corporal Frederick Day and the 2/4th KOYLI, along with the 2/5th KOYLI, left Wellingborough by train for Southampton, from where they sailed for France. Landing at Le Havre, the 2/4th KOYLI, along with the 2/5th KOYLI, formed part of the 187th Brigade, 62nd Division.

After a month of railway construction work and trench familiarisation exercises, on the 20 February, the 187th Brigade went into the line, with the 2/4th KOYLI initially in reserve. The weather was very bad and ground conditions atrocious, such that relief from the front line was taking place after 48 hours.

The 2/4th KOYLI went into action on 25 February, when the 187th Brigade began a forward movement, towards Puisieux and Beauregard Dovecot. The 2/4th KOYLI was in support of an attack by 2/5th KOYLI, east of Serre. The enemy artillery was at this time causing problems for the forward battalion and the 2/4th KOYLI were ordered forward.

Three companies moved to support the 2/5th KOYLI but progress became very difficult due to heavy enemy shelling, and the two KOYLI battalions were ordered to hold the line they had gained. For much of the following day, the 2/4th KOYLI was pinned down, but at 17.00 hrs both KOYLI battalions were relieved and returned to Mailly-Maillett.

After a week spent cleaning equipment and refitting, the two KOYLI battalions returned to the front line. Pursuit of the German withdrawal was a slow job, as the enemy was setting booby traps and destroying everything useful in its path. On 10 March 1917, Lance Corporal Frederick Day, along with some others, went to assist some guns and at this time was killed in action.

His name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, which is a memorial to those who died on the Somme and who have no known grave. It bears the names of 72000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South Africa forces who died on the Somme sector, before 20 March 1918.
In a letter to his widow, the Officer Commanding the Battalion, Colonel E. Hind, writes that he was present that night at L/Cpl Day’s funeral, when the service was taken by the Rev. G. Edwards, Chaplain to the Brigade. This would suggest that he was buried near the front line and his grave later destroyed by enemy fire.

Family Life

Frederick Day was born on 9 March 1896, the son of Frederick Day, a carpenter. In August 1914, when war was declared, Frederick Day was employed at Lofthouse Colliery near Wakefield.
During his leave, on Christmas Day 1916, Lance Corporal Frederick Day married Annie Amelia Burton, the daughter of Joseph and Lily Beatrice Burton,at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood. Both bride and groom gave their home address as Smith Street, Outwood.

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