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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Frederick Henry Fuge

 

 

Name: Frederick Henry Fuge

Rank:
Second Lieutenant

Regimental Number: 10076

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 6th Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 25th October 1890 (Baptised 19th November 1890 at St. James Church)

Place of Birth: 19 Canon Street, Taunton

Place of Residence: 18 St. James Street Taunton (Parents Address) Prior to enlisting Frederick was teaching at Bow Road School London and lived at 21 Caversham Avenue, Palmers Green, London..

Date of Death: 12th August 1916

Place of Death: The Somme Trenches during the August offensive 1916

Burial/Memorial: Thiepval

Frederick was the youngest son of Charles and Emily May Fuge (Nee Clements). He had  an older living brother Arthur Thomas and another, William, who had died in infancy. His father Charles, was a carriage maker, with works in St. James St. And Mill Lane. Emily was the daughter of Thomas Clements, a stone mason, who lived at 18 St. James Street, right next door to the church. Charles and Emily lived with the Clements in 1881 and later had moved into No 18 by 1901 following the death of Thomas’s wife.

The Fuge family were involved with the Church and Frederick attended the Sunday School and St. James School. He did well as a pupil and won a scholarship to Huish Grammer School. In 1909 he returned to St. James School as a pupil teacher. Joseph Montague the Head master of the time commented that “he bids fair to become a very capable teacher”. In 1909 he won a King’s scholarship to St. Mark’s College, Chelsea to train as a teacher, and remained in London as an Assistant Master of Bow’s Road School, studying for a degree at London University. He enlisted in the Queen’s Westminster Regiment within the first two weeks of the war and was commissioned in November 1914 transferring to the Somerset Light Infantry. From May 1915 he was on active service in the Ypres salient and was promoted to First Lieutenant in December 1915. He died during the battle of the Somme on 12th August 1916; his commanding officer Captain Palin  wrote to his parents and informed them that Frederick had died carrying out “a daring piece of work, while consolidating a captured trench”. His death is noted in the War Diary of the 6th Battalion.

Frederick’s will is to be found in his file at the National Archive. It was written in August 1914 and needs to be read in its entirety as it gives an insight in Frederick’ character. He leaves monetary bequests to his family including his brother and  niece Hilda; a bequest to his old college for the chapel restoration fund in memory of his college principal, Owen Breden, another bequest to his old school for a necessitous student studying scientific research; and a very personal bequest of his gold albert to his lifelong friend Robert Memby Wickenden of Tone House, Taunton. He also left money, jewellery and books to a Norah Mary Spreckley of Kings Lynn in “loving memory of her sincere friendship.”

In 1915, there is a sense that neither he nor Robert will survive and he adds a codicil in which the most significant change is that he leaves his gold albert  to his mother be made “into an article of jewellery for her own use”. (Robert did in fact survive and was awarded a Military Cross).

Among his possessions are listed: His signet ring, cigarette case, watch, (glass cracked), clasp knife, compass, wallet, chain and identity disc, Wallet and photo studs, purse. French dictionary, a book called the Happy Warrior”, 4 Post cards, an officer’s advance book, cheque book and a large photo.

More details about Frederick and his family can be found in the booklet entitled Frederick Fuge 1890-1916, which includes some of the newspapers clippings about his death.

 

 

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