RESIDENT OF GROVE PLACE, HOYLAKE AND GRANDFATHER OF ERIC MILFORD
Fred Lancashire was Eric Milford’s grandfather on his mother’s side. He was born in Hoylake in 1872. His wife was Mabel and they lived at 23 Grove Place, Hoylake. They had four children – Charles, Dolly, Nellie (Eric’s mum) and Edie.
Fred had previously served in the 2nd/5th The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, though details of his early military career are not known. It is possible, however, that he saw action with them in the Boer War.
The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment was one of the oldest infantry regiments of the British Army, having been formed in 1685 and numbered as the 8th (The King’s) Regiment of Foot. Unlike most British infantry regiments, which were associated with a county, the King’s represented the city of Liverpool, one of only four regiments affiliated to a city in the British Army.
During the First World War, Fred was a Private in the Royal Defence Corps, which was formed on 17th March 1916 and comprised those servicemen who were otherwise prevented from serving in the Regular and Volunteer Armies by reason of age, disability or other reasons, but who nevertheless wished to serve their country in some capacity. Its job was to guard railways, tunnels, roads, ports and other military installations thus relieving other troops for front line service.
Fred was stationed at Woolwich Barracks, but he died on 2nd September 1916, aged 44, in the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich. The hospital is most famous for its principal designer, Florence Nightingale, and it utilised a new approach to open planning, based on the revolutionary ‘pavilion’ design whereby each ward was connected to a central corridor to maximise daylight and fresh air intake.
Fred is buried in Greenwich Cemetery in Heroes’ Corner. Greenwich Cemetery contains 556 First World War burials and more than half of these graves are scattered throughout the cemetery, but 263 form a large war graves plot known as Heroes’ Corner. Here, two curved screen walls bear the names of casualties buried both in the plot and in unmarked graves in the cemetery.