William Frost (1897–1917)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 70445 2nd Battalion

Photo courtesy Elaine Maltby

Photo of William Frost

Biography [With thanks to Elaine Maltby]
William was born at Crich in 1897; his parents were George and Sarah Hannah Frost. George died in 1904, leaving Sarah Hannah with four young children. Billy was one of the first Crich men to volunteer in 1914 aged seventeen; enlisting with his cousin George Wragg, both under-age at the time.

His sister “Gerty” Frost featured on the front of a popular 1915 postcard of Crich Market Place. She is the girl with the pram. The baby was Kathleen Gaunt whose family lived in Archway Cottages.

Postcard courtesy Rosemary Hall

Postcard of Crich 1915

He was in the 6th Divison this peacetime divison of the army was quartered in Ireland and England at the outbreak of war and was ordered to concentrate near Cambridge. By early September it was fully equipped and trained. On 10 September 1914 it landed at St Nazaire and proceeded to the Western Front, where it remained throughout the War. The Division arrived in time to reinforce the hard-pressed BEF on the Aisne, before the whole army was moved north to Flanders. He fought at the battles of Hill 70 and the at Cambrai where he was wounded on Tuesday the 20th November 1917. He died of his wounds the following day aged twenty-one, and is buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manacourt.

Photo courtesy Elaine Maltby

William Frost and George Wragg in WW1

William Frost and George Wragg aged seventeen, October 1914

Crich voluteers October 1914 –

Crich recruits in 1914

Ian P. Macdonald; William Burr; William Curzon; John Walker; Nelson Martin;
Jack Kneebone; William Frost; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Cauldwell;
Jack Porter; George Perry; Noble Tomlinson

Crich recruits 1914

Included with these recruits are probably:
Billy Curzon; Jack Porter; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Kneebone; Duncan Coooke;
Billy Burr; Noble Tomlinson; Tom Coleman; Billy Frost; Luke Coleman; Jack Cauldwell; George Perry.
It is believed that John Roe, brothers Herbert and Steven Bollington (and possibly John) are also amongst this group.

Medal Index Record
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals

Newspaper Reports

Derbyshire Courier 15 December 1917
Pte. William Frost, Crich

Derbyshire Times 5 January 1918
Mrs S. H. Frost, of the Arch Cottages, Crich, has now received a letter dated the 28th December 1917, from the War Office, stating that her son, Corpl. W. Frost, Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds on the 21 November last in the Casualty Clearing Station and expressing the sympathy of the Army Council with her in her sad loss. A full report and photo appeared in the Derbyshire Times a few weeks ago stating that Corporal Frost was wounded and in a French hospital.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials W
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Corporal
Regiment/Service Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit 2nd Bn
Age 21
Date of Death 21/11/17
Service No 70445
Additional Information Son of Mrs. Sarah Hannah Frost, of The Arch Cottages, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire.
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference II. F. 8.

War Graves certificate for William Frost

Soldiers' Effects Book
William Frost; 2nd Bn Notts & Derby; Corporal 70445; killed in action France 21.11.17; War Gratuity £15; paid out:
23.3.18 mother Sarah H £8 15s 0d
9.12.19 mother Sarah H £15 0s 0d

George Frost joined with his cousin George Wragg both under age.


1901: Bulling Lane, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Frost Head 31 Stone cutter Crich
Sarah L Hr. Frost wife 33   Crich
Annie R Frost daughter 5   Crich
William Frost son 4   Crich
Elizabeth A Frost daughter 2   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 46 page 12

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Sarah Hannah Frost Head (wdw) 43   Crich
Annie Ruth Frost daughter 15 Factory hand, hosiery machinist Crich
William Frost son 14 Errand boy, steam joinery works Crich
Elizabeth Ann Frost daughter 12 School girl Crich
Gertrude Frost daughter 7   Crich

RG14PN20984 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED13 SN127