FROST, William John

No.G/11927, Private, William John FROST
Aged 20

10th Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Died of his Wounds on Sunday, 19th August 1917

William John Frost was born in 1897 (Mildenhall Q1-1897 4A:845), son of John and Caroline FROST (née BONNETT).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at The Green, West Row with his father John FROST [41] farm labourer; mother Caroline [37] born Isleham; brother Arthur Frank [1]; sisters Alice Mary [10] and Georgiana [6]. All except his mother were born in Mildenhall. There was an older brother James [12] who was with his grandparents George and Mary BONNETT at Cook's Drove, West Row

1911 census...Aged 14, apprentice boot maker, he was at West Row with his parents brother Arthur and sisters Ethel [9] and E Roza [3] both born in Mildenhall. Brother James was with his grandparents at their farm at Cook's Drove.

The pension card has his mother still at The Green, West Row.

Brother Arthur served for a year in the Machine Gun Corps
Brother James joined the Royal Artillery in 1913. He was wounded in 1918 and had his left arm amputated. Whilst in hospital near Montigny, during the German Spring Offensive he was captured. Repatriated and discharged in 1919, he returned home (but still managed to get his name included on the Mildenhall war memorial), and at one time was park keeper in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. Brother Arthur served about a year in the Machine Gun Corps. see here

James Frost.................William Frost...................Arthur Frost

He enlisted in Mildenhall. Dying of his wounds and no service records found it is impossible to be precise as to when and where he was wounded. Quite possibly it was during the air raid on their camp at Thieushoek
The battalion commander had requested more space for his camp but to save the farmer's pasture, was limited in area. Thus when a German bomber dropped his bomb on the camp at 9:45 pm on 18th August the crowed condition meant that casualties were heavy. The battalion diaries say this one bomb resulted in 1 officer wounded, OR killed 38, 7 died of wounds and 61 wounded.

The Bury Free Press of 22nd September 1917 reported

It is with deep regret that we record the death of Prvt.John William Frost, of the Royal Queen's West Surreys (sic) which occurred from wounds received in action in France on August 19th last. The deceased soldier was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. John Frost of West Row. Prvt Frost enlisted onMarch 29th 1916 and after training in England, went to France on August 27th of the same year. During the twelve months he had been in France this gallant young soldier had seen much fighting.Mr.and Mrs. Frost have another son fighting for his country - Sergt. J. Frost of the R.G.A.,who has been on the Western Front since the commencement of hostilities, going out with the original Expeditionary Force, he being in the Army before the war. A photo of the deceased soldier will appear in ours columns next week. We print below a letter received by the parents from the Sister in Charge of the Casualty Clearing Station :-
" August 27th 1917 - Dear Madam, I am very sorry to have to tell you that 11927 Prvt W.J.Frost has died in No.XI C.C.S. He was admitted to hospital dangerously wounded, and from the first there was small hope of his recovery. Everything possible was done for him, and he had every care and attention, but from the first his condition was so critical that we were very anxious about him. We tried our best to save him for you, and tried to make his last hours as easy and peaceful as possible.In spite of all our efforts he became gradually worse and passed quietly away on the morning of the 19th. His personal effects will be forwarded to you through the War Office, and you will receive them in the course of time. With deepest sympathy, Yours faithfully, Sister in Charge."

No XI Casualty Clearing Station was at Godewaersvelde from July 1917 to April 1918.

William Frost is buried in Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, grave 1:D:20
and commemorated on his parents grave at West Row (St Peter's) Churchyard and on the West Row war memorial

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