Fred Lilliman was born in 1889 to Robert and Margaret Lilliman.
Robert and Margaret were married at St Thomas’s Church Brampton 15th January 1883. Their first child, George W, was born in June 1884. By 1891 when the census was taken the family had moved to Old Whittington and were living at 306 Station Lane. Robert’s occupation is given as a Stationary Engine Driver. (A stationary engine is an engine whose framework doesn’t move they could be used to drive pumps, generators or machinery in a factory). According to the census Robert and Margaret now had three children. George 6 years old and attending school, Harry 3 years old and Fred 1 year old.
By 1901 as the census below shows the family were living at 85 Station Road and as can be seen there were now four other children Blanche (9) Elsie (6) John (4) and Edith (1). George and Harry are both now labourers in an Iron Foundry (Probably Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co).
Station Road started at Sheepbridge Station at the bottom of Whittington Hill.
Fred married Lucy May Clarke on 30th May 1910 at Old Whittington Church. He was 21 and she was 23. Fred’s occupation was given as labourer and they are both recorded as living at Whittington.
By the 1911 census Fred and Lucy have a daughter Edna May who was baptised at Old Whittington church. The entry in the Parish register states that at the time of Ednas baptism the family address was Sewage Works and Fred was working as a Core Maker.
After checking on a 1876 map of Chesterfield it would appear that the Sewage Farm has always been in a similar position to where it is now, towards the bottom of Station Lane,between Old and New Whittington. As a Core Maker Fred would be responsible for making the moulds, or cores, that were used in foundries for the production of metal castings. This would indicate that he was probably still working at Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co at this time.
However, by the time of the census in 1911 Fred’s occupation had changed and he is now listed as a Coal Miner/Hewer. (The Hewer is the man who actually digs out the coal) for Staveley Coal and Iron Co!
The address is given as 100 Station Lane Old Whittington. This could be the same address as on the baptism register as it would be very near the Sewage Farm unfortunately the houses have been knocked down, the only house left is numbered 200.
I have no information on Fred between 2nd April 1911 when the census was taken and 3rd July 1916 when aged 27 years old Fred died of his wounds in France.
At some point he joined the 9th Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). His Service Number was 18114. The 9th Battalion were part of Kitcheners call for a New Army.
Cap Badge of the 9th Cameronians.
Unfortunately many Service Records from the First World War were destroyed by fire, caused by an incendiary bomb, in September 1940.
I cannot trace Freds record so can only assume it was destroyed at this time.
According to Fred’s Medal record he would have landed in France on 28th July 1915. The 9th Battalion saw action at the Battle of Loos from 25th September to 15th october 1915. They also took part in the Battle of the Somme.
The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was one of the largest battles of the First World War. Fought between July 1 and November 18 1916, near the Somme River in France, it was also one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers would lose more than 1.5 million men.
The 9th Battalion were involved in the Battle for Montauban and Bernafay Wood which took place between 1st and 8th July 1916. More information can be found here
The following excerpt is taken from the National Records for Scotland (more information can be found here
‘During the first day of the Battle of the Somme the 9th Cameronians remained in reserve as part of 27th Brigade, 9th Division, and on 3 July moved up to the front line at Montauban. When the Cameronians relieved the 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, heavy German shelling depleted their initial strength of 20 officers and 659 men. The work of consolidating their front line trenches was made difficult by heavy rain and very dangerous by artillery fire. The Battalion’s war diary in The National Archives records that between 3 and 8 July, when the Cameronians were relieved, their casualties amounted to 32 dead, 5 died of wounds, 100 wounded, and 2 missing believed killed’.
As Fred died from his wounds on 3rd July 1916 there is a good chance he was involved in this Battle. Although I cannot definitely confirm this. He is buried in Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension details of the cemetery can be found here
According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website ‘The majority of graves in the Extension are of Officers and Men who died of wounds in the Battle of the Somme 1916’. This would help to confirm that Fred did in all probability take part in the Battle of the Somme.
Fred Lillimans grave in Corbie Cemetery
(Photo courtesy of WGPP)
The inscription on Fred’s grave reads
‘In Loving Memory from his dear wife and family Ever in our Thoughts’
Fred was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal on 5th May 1920. He was also awarded the 14-15 Star.
He is commemorated on Old Whittington War Memorial alongside his Brother Harry who died on 14th July 1916, 11 days after his younger brother. They are also remembered on Newbold War Memorial (at the junction of Newbold Road and St Johns Road).
Both are remembered on the Scottish National War Memorial details can be found here
Freds wife Lucy never remarried and died in 1968 in Chesterfield.
Freds daughter Edna May married Percival G Allen in 1935 and according to the 1939 register (This is a National Register thats lists the personal details of every civilian in Great Britain and Northern Ireland)they were living at 42 Paxton Road Chesterfield and living with them was Ednas mother Lucy.