Frederick Massey was born in 1884.  His parents were John and Anne Massey. Neither were natives of Whittington, John came from Leicester and Anne came from Staffordshire.  They were married in 1880 in Burton on Trent  and Anne’s maiden name was Chadbourn (which is where Fredericks second christian name, Chadburn,  must have been taken from).

In 1881 they were still living at Burton on Trent but by 1888 the family had moved to Whittington and were living on Whittington Hill, as can be seen in the baptism register.


Sadly the register has suffered fire damage but it can be seen that Frederick was baptised on 24th October 1888. On the same day his two sisters were also baptised, Beatrice Lucy and Annie Elizabeth. There was a fee for baptising children and sometimes families decided to have several children baptised at the same time, or perhaps it was just convenient to have them all baptised together.

According to the census of 1891 the family had moved from Whittington Hill and now lived at 56 Newbridge Street Old Whittington.  At this time Frederick is still at school, but we can get  confirmation from this census that the family had moved to Chesterfield by 1884 when Frederick was born.

1919 showing Prospect Road etc  and The Wagon works
(Map courtesy of Chesterfield Local Studies Library)

John and Anne are shown to have four children although Beatrice Lucy, who was baptised at the same time as Frederick, does not appear on the census at this time. After checking further census entries for 1891 it would appear that on the night of 5th April 1891, when the census was taken, Beatrice was staying with her grandparents, Joseph and Sarah Chadbourn, in Staffordshire.

Fredericks father is still working as a Wagon Builder.  There was a Wagon repair Yard at the bottom of Whittington Hill and I would assume that is where John Massey worked.  Chatsworth Wagon works was part of the larger Scottish company of Hurst, Nelson and Co.  there was also a Wagon Works in New Whittington at the bottom of South Street North.

The 1919 map below (Courtesy of Chesterfield Local Studies Library) shows the position of Chatsworth Wagon works.


By 1901 the family still live at Newbridge Street and Frederick has left school and at 16 years old is working, like his father, as a Railway wagon builder. Frederick now has another sister, Hilda, born in 1900.

I have no further information on Frederick until the 1911 census and by 1911 the family had moved again and now lived on Whittington Hill.


Somehow John Massey has become George Massey, the rest of the information has not changed on the census and I am sure this is the same family! Frederick is still a Railway Wagon Builder.

In January of the same year Fredericks sister Clara married at Old Whittington Church and it is interesting to see that Frederick and his sister Annie Edith were both witnesses.


Frederick enlisted in August 1914 (Service no. 13751) and there is an extract below taken from the Derbyshire Courier Saturday 21 November 1914 which lists the men from Old Whittington and Sheepbridge who had volunteered. The list shows the men who enlisted together and joined the 9th Leicesters, probably men who were friends or who worked together.

Roll of Honour

Men from Old Whittington and Sheepbridge

H Hubbard, W Holland, H Hull, F Hemstock, Frank Davies, Herbert Draycott, Luther Shaw and F Massey.

Fredericks Service Records do still exist but unfortunately some are badly damaged and unreadable. Fredericks Short Service Attestation shows that he joined up for three years service.


The 9th (Service)Battalion Leicestershire Regiment belonged to the 110th Infantry Brigade and they were known as the Leicester Tigers Brigade.  The 110th also  consisted of the 6th, 7th and 8th Service Battalions of the regiment as well as the 110th Machine Gun Company and 110th Trench Mortar Battery.

The 9th Battalion were sent to France on 29th July 1915, the division were concentrated near Tilques, and according to Fredericks medal card this was when he arrived in France as part of Kitcheners New Army.

Image result for 9th leicesters cap badgeCap Badge of the Leicester Regiment

Frederick would have been involved in many significant Battles of WW1. At some point he was transferred to the 7th Battalion Leicesters. He was killed on 14th July 1916 during the Battle of The Somme, he was 32 years old.

Between 14th and 17th July 1916 21st Division (which included 7th Battalion Leicesters) took part in the Battle of Bazentin (or the Bazentin Ridge). There is an account of what happened during this Battle here

I cannot be sure this is where Frederick was killed but on his records he was presumed killed on 14th July 1916,  however the report below is not very clear.


Sadly, like many of the soldiers during the Battle of the Somme his body was never recovered. Even in 1917 the family of Fred Massey were still trying to find his whereabouts as the following newspaper article shows:

dtimes10thfenruary 1917Taken from Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 10th February 1917

On February 10th 1917 this report appeared in the Derbyshire Courier


Fred is remembered on Thiepval Memorial cemetery details can be found at  where many of the men lost in the Battles of the Somme are remembered.


The grave report below taken from here

31274_184895-00026 Fredericks father, John died early in 1916 and all correspondence from the War office was dealt with by his mother Anne.

Frederick medal card shows that he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 14/15 star.


His mother Anne had to fill out several forms upon Fredericks death, mainly relating to the receipt of his possessions and receipt for his medals.30972_176011-00529


Frederick is commemorated on Old Whittington and The Brushes War Memorial and on Roll of  here

The Leicestershire Regiment memorial, also known as the Tigers Wood Stone of Remembrance, at Bagworth near Coalville. The regiment was granted the “Royal” title in 1946.


Fredericks mother died in 1935 in Chesterfield, his brother John married Sarah Elizabeth Jones in 1913 and his occupation on his marriage certificate was Wagon Maker.





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