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Fred Devey was the son of Elizabeth and the late George Devey, originally of 64 Friargate, Preston, the family later moved to 20, Colonso Road, Ashton, Preston, Lancashire.

Fred had enlisted in the Territorial Force on 17th April 1912 at Preston. At the time of him joining, he was 18 years old and was working as an electrical engineer. He was single and lived at home.

At his enlistment medical he was described as being 5ft 6.5in tall, with a 31in chest.

Fred was posted into the 4th (Territorial) Battalion and given the service number 1592. As part of his Territorial commitment he was required to attend annual training camps, this he did at Kirkham from 4th – 18th August 1912, then at Denbigh between 3rd – 17th August 1913. On 5th April 1913, he had been appointed Lance Corporal.

Upon the declaration of war, Fred along with thousands of other Territorial Force soldiers were mobilized in August 1914. Thus began many months of intensive training in the UK.

On 4th May 1915, Fred and the 1/4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment sailed for France. He was granted Class 1 proficiency pay that July.

On 27th June 1915, Fred was promoted to the rank of Corporal within ‘B’ Company.

In December 1915 at Etaples, he was ‘severely reprimanded for neglect of duty’; although this did not attract a punishment.

In April 1916, he was appointed Lance Serjeant. A promotion to substantive Serjeant and transfer to ‘D’ Company came in early August.

On 8th August 1916, Serjeant Fred Devey sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He died of this wound the following day.

The attack on GUILLEMONT – 8th August 1916

The Battalion assembled in the trenches that ran east to west of the road near Trones Wood. ‘D’ Company were tasked to consolidate the left of the enemy line on the west side of Guillemont. The attack was not a success. The right flank was held up almost immediately and were forced to retire to their original position, and the left (D Company) were driven off by the enemy coming behind them!

There was considerable confusion caused by heavy mist and German smoke bombs, and for this reason the troops held in reserve were not called on. The attack was costly, 9 men being killed outright, 97 wounded and over 100 more reported missing.





Fred Devey was buried in the Corbie Communal cemetery, his mother would later receive the 1914-15 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal; along with the memorial plaque and scroll in recognition of her late-sons service.

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 1592
Date of Death: 09/08/1916
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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