Private, G/8448, 7th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action, Monchy-le-Preux, 4 July 1917, aged 19
Buried at Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux, Plot 1, Row G, Grave 20
The inscription reads "He was loved by all"

Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux
(Click to enlarge)

Frederick Webber was born in East Grinstead in late 1897 to parents Alfred Webber (1865-1920) and Florence Catherine Webber (née Mighall, 1868-1961). They were married on 10 December 1890 at St. Swithuns in East Grinstead.

In the 1901 census, Frederick was living at Imberhorne Lane Cottages in East Grinstead with his parents Alfred, a gardener aged 35, and Florence, also 35. Frederick had two older brothers, Albert aged 7 and Stanley aged 6, and two younger brothers, Alexandria aged 2 and Hector aged 6 months. Alfred was born in West Hoathly and all the children were born in East Grinstead.

By 1911 Frederick was living at Primrose Alley, Primrose Lane in Forest Row where he was listed as a scholar. Alfred was described as a jobbing gardener. Frederick's brother Stanley, aged 16, was recorded as a gardener/labourer domestic. Frederick and his younger brothers were at school.

Frederick enlisted at East Grinstead in 1915. He was then residing at Queensborough Cottages in Forest Row and was described as a gardener. His Short Service Attestation, where Frederick signed up for the duration of the war, was dated 29 November 1915 and recorded that Frederick was Church of England and 5 feet 5¼ inches tall. After training he was posted to the Royal Sussex Regiment on 1 April 1916 and after training he arrived at Étaples on 3 April 1916. He was wounded in October 1916.

Monchy was an important strategic position near Arras and was the scene of sustained bloody fighting. It was during the Battle of Arras, while the Germans held the area, that they bombarded Arras and destroyed the famous bell tower. During the Battle of Arras Private Webber was killed.

Plan of Monchy British Cemetery
(Click to enlarge)

Private Webber was buried in Monchy British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux. The cemetery is in the Pas de Calais region of France, on the road from Arras to Cambrai. It holds 523 identified and 58 unidentified casualties. Burials in the cemetery began in April 1917 when the village of Monchy was captured by Commonwealth forces. The cemetery was later designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Frederick is also commemorated in the cemetery at Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row. The Book of Remembrance in Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row was signed by his mother, Florence, who was living at Queensborough Cottages in Forest Row.

Frederick Webber was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal, automatically awarded in the event of death on active service.

War Credit of £5 13s. 11d. was authorised in October 1917 and War Gratuity of £7 0s.0d. was credited to Alfred on 22 November 1919.

Kevin Tillett