Frederick Green

Ryburgh Remembers


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.



Edgar Smith 




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

this period.


Our barrage which was due to lift at 7.10 A.M. did not lift till

7.20 A.M.




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)


Other Ranks


50 Killed

133 Wounded

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

their own.


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. 



Thiepval Memorial 



Pier 1 C and Face 1 D




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