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17770 Private F HowarthFrederick Howarth was born in Bolton in 1895 and was the son of Frederick Howarth (b.1856), a forge labourer, and Theresa Howarth (née Keeley b.1859).

Frederick Jnr first appeared on the 1901 Census living at 82 Shaw Street, Bolton with his parents and siblings Ada b.1883, John b.1887, Catherine (Kate) b.1889, Henry b.1891 and Mary Alice b.1898.

On the 1911 Census he was listed as living at 51 Noble Street, Bolton with his parents and siblings; and Frederick was working in a cotton spinning room. The rest of the family (except his mother) were all in the same industry.

When war broke out in 1914 Frederick enlisted in the Army and joined the newly raised 6th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 17770.

After a period of training in the UK. Private Howarth sailed for Gallipoli from Avonmouth aboard HMT Braemar Castle on 15th June 1915 and was posted as ‘missing’ after action at Chunuk Bair on the 9th August 1915.

The official despatch about the action states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

The following article appeared in the Bolton Journal and Guardian on 28th January 1916

Private Frederick Howarth, who was serving in the Dardanelles, has been missing since August 9th, 1915, and his parents, who live at 51, Noble-st., have been officially notified of the fact. Many inquiries have been made at various Red Cross Hospitals, but no definite news has been received as to his whereabouts, and his parents would be glad to hear any news about him. The missing soldier is 20 years of age, and prior to enlisting he was employed at the Derby-st. Spinning Company’s mill. His name is on the Fletcher-st. Weslyan School Roll of Honour.

With no news being received his death was presumed and on 8th December 1916 the paper wrote;

Pte. FRED HOWARTH, L.N.L. Regiment, of 51, Noble-st., Bolton, was reported missing on August 9th. 1915, and is now reported to have been killed on that date.

Frederick Howarth is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

fred howarth helles

Helles Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 17770
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

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This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the DBBC young roots heritage project. The young people identified and researched the the servicemen pictured in a 1916 Bolton Journal and Guardian supplement who were killed at Gallipoli. You can visit their website by clicking on the DBBC logo.
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