AGER, Frederick

No.36178, Private, Frederick AGER
Aged 34

1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers
Died of his wounds on Sunday, 29th September 1918

Frederick Ager was born in Birdbrook in 1884 in Birdbrook (unable to 100% identify which registration), son of Ephraim and Matilda AGER (née CLARK). The family were commonly known as PLUM. There is scope for much confusion here as the census seems to always record them as PLUM. Ephraim's mother was Anna AGER who married Charles PLUM in 1847. There was a Freddy AGER registered birth Risbridge Q1-1885 and a Freddy PLUM registered Q4-1884.( the former the more likely) Certainly our man here is the son of Ephraim and Matilda which precludes any other AGER family. It is hard to pin down when the family ever used their AGER name.

1891 census...Aged 6, he was in Birdbrook with his father Ephraim [43] a groom; his mother Matilda [42]; brothers Harry [20], Walter [17] and William [15] farm labourers, Frank [11], James [9] and Montague [4]; sisters Lizzie [22], Lily Mary [12] and Lucy Anna [2]. All were born in Birdbrook, all recorded as PLUM.

1901 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was at Cottages, Birdbrook with his parents (father now recorded as aged 50, a stockman, mother recorded as aged 49); brothers William [24] (farm labourer), James [18] (horse man) and Montague [14] farm labourer; sisters Lily and Lucy. ( all recorded as PLUM)

1911 census...Aged 26, an Ostler, he was at the "Cape of Good Hope" Inn, Oxford. His parents, brothers Harry, William, James and Montague and sister Lucy were all still at home in Birdbrook.(all recorded as PLUM). All ten siblings survive

The pension card gives his mother as Mrs Matilda Ager, of Waver Cottages, Birdbrook.

He enlisted in Bethnal Green. The battalion war diary has:-
29/9/18..On the morning of the 29th the battalion, in conjunction with troops on our right and left, attacked on a frontage of 500 yards. The left was a point about 500 yards east of PONTRUET. The dispositions before the attack were "A" Coy right front, "B" Coy left front, "D" Coy support and "C" Cot in Reserve. At Zero "B" Coy advanced about 750 yards and took FAUCILLE TRENCH (first objective). A certain amount of opposition was met with from M.Gs but this was overcome. The plan of attack was to wait for the 1st Gloucesters before going on to the second objective, but O.C. "B" Coy, seeing the Gloucesters held up by M.G. fire pushed his attack forward to second objective, FOREATS TRENCH, making excellent use of the cover which the ground afforded.. When "B" Coy was established in FOREATS TRENCH, "C" Coy came up behind the trench and formed up ready to start for third objective, which was the village of THORIGNY and TALANA HILL. At zero (6 pm) "C" Coy advanced under cover of a barrage. Meeting very heavy machine gun fire and darkness coming on "C" Coy did not advance further than about 500 yards in front of FOREATS. Here they dug in and waited till morning. "B" and "A" Coys were supporting "C" Coy.

CWGC records 8 of the battalion killed.

From comes the following:-
Ruridecanal Magazine August 1918.... 'Fred Ager has been in Hospital, but we are glad to hear that he is discharged well again.'
Ruridecanal Magazine November 1918 'We are sorry to hear that Fred Ager was severely wounded on September 28th and that he died shortly afterwards. He was buried in France on October 1st. We offer our sincere sympathy to his family.'.

His memorial stall in Birdbrook church

The family headstone in Birdbrook

found here, identified by cross, and moved to Savy

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Frederick Ager is buried in Savy British Cemetery, grave 1:J:5

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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