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Charles Frew cap badgePrivate Charles Frew

15th (Service) Battalion (1st Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 36642

Charles Frew grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of Robert (25/09/1864 - 28/12/1925) and Helen (Nellie) Morrison Frew (21/10/1872 - 08/12/1938) of 36 Paddock St, Coatbridge. From the 1901 Census - Address - 14 Sykeside St, Coatbridge - Robert Frew aged 36, Nellie Frew aged 28, Charles Frew aged 4, David Frew aged 2, Catherine Frew aged 3 months (05/09/1900 - 24/07/1959). Brother Robert (1905 - 1977) and sister Helen (1908 -1986). Charles' brother David died at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on the 12/02/1915. Charles' Pension was awarded to his mother Helen on the 04/03/1918.

Born / Resided

10 Sykeside St, Coatbridge / 36 Paddock St, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action on the 15/07/1917 during the Operations on the Belgian Coast (Nieuport)

Enlisted

Coatbridge

Employed

Speedwell Iron Works.

Age

20 / DOB - 18/11/1896

Buried / Remembered

Nieuport Memorial (Panel No. 20), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Cemetery / Memorial Information

he Nieuport Memorial commemorates 566 Commonwealth officers and men who were killed in Allied operations on the Belgian coast during the First World War and have no known grave. Twenty of those commemorated served with the Royal Naval Division and were killed or mortally wounded during the siege of Antwerp in October 1914. Almost all of the remainder fell in heavy fighting in the region of Nieuport in the summer of 1917.

Additional Information

The Battalion (often known by its original title of the Glasgow Tramways Battalion) arrived at Boulogne on the 23/11/1915 and were part of the 14th Brigade (transferred from the 97th Brigade), 32nd Division. Charles was reported missing on the 15/07/1917 during Operations on the Belgian Coast 1917 : “Operation Hush”. A battle that never took place. Plans were made for an audacious British attack against the German-held coast of Belgium; a force was assembled and specialist training began. But necessary advance from Ypres did not materialise and Hush was inevitably cancelled. A sharp German attack against British preparations in the Battle of the Dunes (Operation Strandfest) also disrupted matters. Strandfest began on the 20th June, the British XV Corps took over the French sector on the Belgian coast. The MarinesKorps Flandern patrols detected the changeover on the 21st. Korps commander von Schroeder correctly interpreted this report as the prelude to a British attack along the coast. He began planning Operation Strandfest, a pre-emptive strike to eliminate the Yser bridgehead. Meanwhile, the British set about improving the defences in the bridgehead. Tunnellers were used, including the 257th and the 2nd Australian Tunnelling Companies, but their work was not complete when Operation Strandfest began. Nor was all the British artillery in place; only 176 of the planned 583 guns and howitzers were available to defend the bridgehead. The German attack on the 32nd Division, further to the east, was less successful. Only the 97th Brigade was attacked and although there was some penetration into the line, a counterattack that night by the 11th Border Regiment, supported by two companies of the 17th Highland Light Infantry, restored all but 500 yards of the frontline. The total British casualties amounted to approximately 3,126 of all ranks, Killed, Wounded and Missing. Of these, fifty Officers and 1,253 Other Ranks belonged to the two Battalions of 1st Division. The 15th Highland Light Infantry casualties for the month of July 1917 were 1 Officer Killed, 8 Wounded, 39 Other Ranks Killed, 188 Wounded and 43 Missing. Charles was one of the missing. His death was not confirmed until March 1918. SEE PHOTOS x 64 FOR THE BATTALION WAR DIARY 1st - 31st July 1917 INCLUDING APPENDICES 1 - 9. Charles is also remembered on the Trinity Parish Church Roll of Honour (see photos). See photos for Charles' Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2 (second one mentions Charles and his younger brother David), his Birth Certificate, Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Nieuport Memorial Panel List, Charles' name on the Nieuport Memorial, his Pension Records x 2 and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge.

Photos
Charles Frew Medal Index CardCharles Frew newspaper clippingCharles Frew newspaper clippingCharles Frew newspaper clippingCharles Frew remembered at homeCharles Frew remembered at homeCharles Frew remembered at homeCharles Frew remembered at homeCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photoCharles Frew additional photo

War Diaries

The battalion War Diary is available on the National Archives website.

Creative Commons License

We have made this information and the images available under a Creative Commons BY-NC license. This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement: © coatbridgeandthegreatwar.com

Comments
Charles was the elder brother of my grand-father Robert. I do remember visiting my grand-father’s sisters when I was younger but have little knowledge, unfortunately, of his family. Goodness knows what horrors he saw and I am so proud of the part that me must have played. I can’t imagine what his family, and others like them, went through.
Alison, Coatbridge, 29/04/2023 7:33PM

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