Pte. 12916 Frederick Green, 1st. Norfolk Regiment.
December 10th 1896 - 27th.July 1916
Andrew Howard has recently come across an image of Fred Green among some family photos.
These and the Death Plaques and medals of both the Green brothers were kept by their niece, Andrew's
mother, Kath Howard (nee Toll).The medals and plaques regretably went missing from Willow Farm
in 1988 during the move to Highfield Close. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of these treasured items,
we are sure the family would be delighted and extremely grateful to have them returned.
Frederick, born in Great Ryburgh in December 1896 was the seventh of the ten children of
Labourer James Green and Dorothy Childs Dix (Dicks). By 1901 the family had moved
to the “new” No 5 Testerton Cottages and with this move, James' occupation becomes
that of Horseman for Edgar (Ned) Smith at the Testerton Hall Farm.
Fred was registered at the school in Ryburgh on October 10th 1900 until Sept.29th 1909
when he left to work as a labourer. Throughout the War, Headmaster Albert Foster never
mentions those who died in his daily log book entries but he does pencil into the margin of the
Register "died" against the names of 5 children, one of whom was Fred Green. He is quite
possibly pictured somewhere on this postcard of the schoolchildren. It was taken before he left
but he will be one of the older boys :
He first entered the war in France on May 12th 1915 and was the third of our
Ryburgh soldiers to become a victim of the infamous battle at Delville Wood,
a part of the Somme offensive which began on July 1st. 1916.
Whilst his service record has not survived, the Regimental War Diary for the period gives
a dispassionate overall account in summary of Fred Green's final hours……. along
with 99 Other Ranks who died that day. It is not known which of the four Companies he
belonged to. A transcription of those events is given below:
26th July 10.45 P.M:
Left Bivouac at POMMIER + moved up to assembly positions in
LONGUEVAL. Had to go through a heavy barrage of poison gas
shells + the whole Battn. had to put on their gas-helmets. There
was also an artillery barrage on most of the road going up.
Moved via QUARRY at S.22.c.2/7- QUARRY at junction of tracks at
S.16.d.1/5 German trench near WINDMILL at S.17.a.2/1, then along
trench to road at S.17.d.1/5 + up street running N & S through
LONGUEVAL. Relieved 2 Coys 12th Gloucester Regt. who were roughly
on line L of LONGUEVAL , along road to cross roads at
S.17.b.4/4, + from there to road at S.17.b.9/1. On the L of the
cross roads the was a slight trench, but on the R. it was all
ruined houses + only one small section of trench for 1 platoon.
The remainder took cover behind ruined houses + in shell holes.
July 27th 2.A.M:
Arrived at LONGUEVAL. A Coy was on L from L. In LONGUEVAL to
cross roads at S.17.b.4/4. B Coy was on R from there to road at
S.17.b.9/1. C Coy went into a partially dug trench behind A Coy
running from S.17.b.1/3 to S.17.d.1/8. D coy occupied a bit of
trench from S.17.d.3/8 to S.17.d.8/9 – and all Coys did what
they could to dig themselves in.
July 27th 2.30A.M:
Bn H.Q. arrived at S.17.b.4/3.
Orders as enclosed were issued for the attack at 7.10AM on the
27th. 1/ Bedfords were in support, + 16th R. Warwicks were in
July 27th 5.10A.M:
Our Artillery preparation started- + the German heavy artillery
kept up an intense fire on our positions in LONGUEVAL
(especially on A + B Coys) + on the approaches to the village.
This bombardment was kept up for about 24 hours with only slight
lesser intervals - + the barrages were
so strong that practically every runner became a casualty during
Our barrage which was due to lift at 7.10 A.M. did not lift till
July 27th 7.20A.M:
A & B Coys advanced to the assault, closely followed by C & D
Coys + the 1/Bedfords moved up to our original positions in
LONGUEVAL. A Coy was commanded by Capt. FRANCIS but he had been
buried by a shell for two hours + was unable to start; of his
other officers 2Lt HUNN was also buried at this time. 2Lt.
MARTIN led the 1st platoon, + 2Lt. STEER led the 2nd platoon.
Both these platoons were on the right of A Coy. The two platoons
on the left of A Coy were buried and could not start. 2Lt.
MARTIN was shortly afterwards killed, + 2Lt. STEER was wounded.
2Lt. HUNN remained in their original position + with four men of
the 2 left platoons who were all that were left unburied, worked
at digging the men +the 2 Lewis guns out. C Coy followed closely
behind A Coy, + owing to the intense barrage on the left of A
Coy. They also also advanced too far to the right and the left
flank of the attack was left open. 2Lt. WINDHAM led the first
platoon 2Lt. HOWLETT led the 2nd platoon, + Capt. O'CONNOR came
on with the rear platoons. Capt. O'CONNOR was shortly afterwards
killed , + 2Lt. HOWLETT wounded – also 2Lt. JACKMAN was wounded
- + 2Lt. WINDHAM commanded the Coy.
B Coy was commanded by Cat. SIBREE. Lieut W.J.H.Brown led the
first line + was almost immediately wounded. 2Lt. BEALE had been
wounded before the attack started. 2Lt. CROSSE led the second
line,+ Capt. SIBREE led the remainder of the Coy.
D Coy was commanded by 2Lt. CLODE + had closed up to B Coy just
before the assault - + both Band D were rather mixed up when
they started. 2Lt. DAVIES led the first platoon – 2Lt.
F.A.CLARKE led the 2nd platoon - + 2Lt. CLODE + 2Lt T. BROWN came
with the 2nd line. 2Lt. CLODE was almost immediately wounded.
Strong points were attacked + houses bombed on the right - + two
lines of German trenches were taken on the left. 4 officers +
about 150 O.R. were taken prisoner; these belonged to the 8th +
12th Guard Grenadier Regt.
Report on the operations is attached.
The Battn casualties were
2 Officers Killed
1 Officer, Missing ( believed killed)
5 Officers Wounded - + 3 Officers, Wounded (shell-shock)
M.O. (Capt. M. SCOTT) R.A.M.C. attd. Wounded - (gassed)
50 Missing (believed killed)
5 Wounded (shell -shock)
4 Wounded (gassed)
15 Wounded (remained at duty)
Total. 12 Officers + 257 O.R.
Fred Green was one of the 50 Missing (believe killed) and has no known grave. At the time the
following message of congratulation was expressed to the troops:
The Brigadier-General Commanding wishes to express to all ranks
of the Brigade his great amiration at the magnificent manner in
which they captured the Village of LONGUEVAL yesterday.
To the 1st NORFOLK Regiment and the 1st BEDFORDSHIRE Regiment
and some of the 16th ROYAL WARWICKSHIRE Regiment, who were
able to get into the enemy with the bayonet, he offers his
heartiest congratulations. He knows it is what they have been
waiting and wishing for for many months.
The 1st CHESHIRE Regiment made a most gallant and determined
effort to reach their objective and failed through no fault of
The way in which the Troops behaved under the subsequent heavy
bombardment was worthy of the best traditions of the British
The Brigade captured 4 Officers and 159 other ranks.
£ 3-19/- 2d. back pay was sent to his father James in December 1916 and the War Gratuity
payment of £8-10/- followed in September 1919.
Frederick Green is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial together with his brother Albert
who died less than a week later in the same offensive.
Pier 1 C and Face 1 D