Private, L/7165, 1st Battalion, East Kent Regiment (The Buffs)
Killed in Action at Ypres, "on or since" 23 October 1914, aged 31
Commemorated on Panel 2 of the Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

Frederick, the son of George and Martha Tibbles, was born at Yalding, Kent, in the third quarter of 1883. He married Louisa Emma Gainsford, born in 1875, at Tonbridge on 4 October 1913. The marriage was registered at Maidstone.

In the 1891 census, living at Rabellous Corner, Queen Street, Yalding, Frederick was the youngest of five, with two brothers (William 17 and George 16, both farm labourers) and two sisters (Emma 14 and Ada 11). His father George, aged 43, was a farm labourer and Martha his mother was 47. Frederick was listed as a scholar.

In 1901 Martha, now 57, was listed as a charwoman and George no longer appears in the record. Frederick, aged 17, was described as a waggoner and agricultural horse man. Also present for the census was a visitor, John Campbell, aged 19, born in Chatham.

In 1911 Frederick, aged 27, was living at Wellers Cottage, Queen Street in Paddock Wood. His occupation was described as an ex-regular soldier. Martha now aged 67 was described as a widow. Also recorded in the house was William Fever, a widower, born in Benenden, also aged 67, whose occupation was that of a farm labourer.

Frederick first enlisted in the army at Canterbury on 24 February 1903. According to his Short Service Attestation papers he was about 5ft 5½ inches tall and weighed 123 pounds with a 33 inch chest. He was 19 years and 8 months old and was described as a labourer. His Short Service was extended to eight years and on 23 February 1911 he was transferred to the Army Reserve. In 1914 he was living in Hartfield, where he was subsequently commemorated on the war memorial.

He was declared missing, death presumed, killed in action, on 23 October 1914.

His total military service amounted to 11 years and 242 days. Frederick served two years in South Africa, three years in Hong Kong, six years at home and in France from 7 September 1914 to 23 October 1914. He was awarded the 1914 Star and the British War and Victory Medal. Frederick left £3 16s. 10d. to his widow Louisa. A £5 War Gratuity was granted in July 1919 to Annie Gainsford.

Frederick is listed on Panel 2 of the war memorial at Ploegsteert in Belgium. The memorial lists 11,366 casualties from the UK and South Africa who have no known grave. Most of these casualties arose from day to day small scale engagements of trench warfare usually supporting major offensives elsewhere.

Kevin Tillett