LONG, Fred

No.17905, Private, Fred LONG
Aged 23

8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 7th August 1918

Frederick Long was born in Waterbeach (Chesterton Q1-1895 3B:466), son of Edward and Emily Ann LONG (née GOTOBED).

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at Back Lane, Manea, Cambridgeshire with his father Edward LONG [32] born Bottisham Lode; his mother Emily Ann [39] born Waterbeach and his sister Annie [7] born Bottisham Lode.

His father died in 1902.

1911 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was at Mill House, Lode Fen with his widowed mother. CWGC have his mother later at Blue House Farm, Prior Fen.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds. For some reason "Soldiers Died" has him born in Soham.
Battalion war diaries tell us that at midnight 6th/7th August 1918 the 8th East Surrey's were holding BURKE LINE. They were then ordered to re-establish CLONCURRY LINE and formed up at 03:15 on the 7th.
The attack started at 04:45 after only three minutes of artillery fire. They reached their objective and made touch with the 7th Buffs but not the 11th Royal Fusiliers on their left, which left a gap of at least 200 yards south. "A" Coy., was not strong enough to take over this extra length of trench and when two platoons of the Royal Fusiliers failed to turn up, a defensive flank had to be formed. The line ran down GULGOA until touch was made with the 11th Royal Fusiliers.
At 10:00 the enemy was reported in CLONCURRY and CLOUD SUPPORT and "A" Coy bombed down CLONCURRY but eventually had to withdraw until at 11:15 one platoon from BUNBURY was sent to reinforce them and the position was stationary until about mid-day, when the SOS was put up on the 54th Brigade front.
An operation was planned for 18:00, two trench mortars to shell the junction of CLONCURRY and CLOUD SUPPORT, "A" Coy to bomb down CLONCURRY and the R.Fusiliers to bomb up CLOUD SUPPORT and the 6th Northants to co-operate from south of the road. At 18:00 the barrage was put down and "A" Coy attacked. Unfortunately the Brigade on the right did not attack and the message saying that they would not attack arrived an hour late. It was decided to hold the line for the 7th Queens to attack in the morning. After several SOS the front quietened and at 23:00 one platoon of the 8th East Surreys was sent forward to secure the line while the 7th Queens formed up. Casualties over a three day period were 21 killed, 125 wounded and 71 missing. On the 7th the number of 8th E Surrey recorded by CWGC as killed was 31 so at least ten of the missing were later found to be, or presumed to be, dead.

Defensive flank at 9 am, with 7th Buffs on left and 11th R Fusiliers on right

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Fred Long is commemorated on the Pozières memorial, panels 44 -45
and also commemorated on the Swaffham Prior war memorial and the Little Chapel in the Fens

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