Frederick Charles Leggett; Private, 50th Battalion (Alberta Regiment) Canadian Infantry. Killed in Action 2nd September 1918

Frederick was born in Melton Hamlet, Ufford on 4th February 1883. In 1911 he was living in Devon working as a general labourer on the railways. On 4th June 1913 he boarded the RMS Olympic of the White Star Line and emigrated to Canada.

In November 1917 he was “called up” by the Canadian Infantry and was drafted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 16th January 1918. On 21st February he boarded a troop ship for the journey to England where, after training, he was sent to France with the 50th Battalion (Alberta Regiment) arriving in late August.

The 50th Battalion were fighting in the Arras area of France and on 2nd September 1918 were ordered to attack four trenches of the Drocourt-Queant line. At 5:00am the attack commenced and the battalion quickly took the trenches and consolidated their position incurring only light casualties. Shortly after, the enemy laid down a barrage of heavy artillery fire on battalion’s newly gained position which killed a number of the soldiers. The war diary states that in the battle two officers were killed and two wounded, twenty-nine other ranks were killed and one hundred and eighty-one wounded. Frederick was one of the twenty-nine killed only two weeks after he had set foot in France.

The Woodbridge Reporter and Wickham Market Gazette reported his death in 19th September 1918 edition:

“Mr and Mrs D Leggett of Station Road have suffered another great blow, as they have just received a letter from a chaplain stating that their son Private Frederick Leggett, was hit by shell fire during an advance on enemy lines as killed.

His body was buried in a little cemetery on the battlefield and a cross erected to perpetuate his memory. The chaplain said the deceased was doing good work as a soldier and the commanding officer and officers tend their sincere sympathies to the parents. This is the third son that Mr and Mrs Leggett have lost in the war, and deepest sympathies will be extended to them in such a severe experience. The deceased lad had only been in France a fortnight when he met his death.”

Frederick is buried in Dury Crucifix British Cemetery in France and is remembered on the Woodbridge War Memorial. He received the British War and Victory Medals for his wartime service.