Fred Fern (1897–1961)


Royal Field Artillery 144605  

Photos courtesy Joan Haynes

Fred Fern

Fred was born in Bonsall in about 1898; his parents were John and Elizabeth Fern. In some records their name is spelt Fearn. His father was a ganger on the railway. Fred lived at Robin Hood, Whatstandwell, and worked at the Dawbarn’s steam joinery works. He enlisted in the RFA in Oct 1915, was untruthful about his age, (aged seventeen) and entered France in December 1915. He was wounded during his service but was able to return to his unit after treatment. After demob, Fred worked as a joiner and married Sarah Ellen Flint (whom he called "Nellie") in 1923.

Photo of Fred Fern in WW1

Fred in best uniform

Photocard of Fred Fern in WW1

Photo card from Fred Fern in WW1

Card from Fred to Sarah Ellen (Nellie) Flint

Card from Fred Fern in WW1
Card from Fred Fern in WW1

Christmas card to Fred's parents 1917

Fred Fern and wife in WW1

Fred Fern with Sarah Ellen Flint whom he married in 1923

For a time, he was secretary of Whatstandwell F.C.

Whatstandwell Football Club 1923

Fred Fern is on the extreme right of this photograph.

Medal Roll Index Card
Fred was awarded the Victory, British and 15-Sar medals .
He entered France 26 December 1915 .

Newspaper Report

Belper News 2 November 1917
Mr and Mrs John Fern, of Robin Hood Whatstandwell, have been informed that their eldest son Pte Fred Fern of the R.F.A, has been severely wounded in action in France. He is 22 years of age, and previous to enlisting in October, 1915, he was in the employment of Messrs Yelverton Dawbarn Bros., of Whatstandwell.


1901: Bonsall

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Fern Head 39 Foreman rail layer Bonsall
Elizabeth   wife 32   Wales
Fred   son 3   Bonsall
John Henry   son 10 mo   Bonsall

RG13 piece 3269 folio 17 page 26

1911: Robin Hood, Whatstandwell

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Fern Head 49 Ganger on railway Bonsall
Elizabeth   wife 42    
Fred   son 13   Bonsall
John Henry   son 10   Bonsall

RG14PN21233 RG78PN1264 RD440 SD1 ED1 SN145

1918 Voters List, Crich
Fred Fern, Robin Hood; absent on military service

1939 Register: Northland Villa, Crich
Fred Fern b.18 October 1897; carpenter quarry& limestone works maintainance
Sarah E Fern b.11 July 1896
Margaret Richardson (Fern) b.12 November 1928; school