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Fred Gamble was born on the 16th February 1878 in the Kirkstall area of Leeds to John and Ann Gamble (nee Linsley). Fred`s father John Gamble was a tanner by trade and he married Ann Linsley at St. Mark`s Church, Woodhouse on the 1st January 1865, the couple went on to have another nine children together; William (1865), Jonathan (1866), Thomas (1868), Abraham (1869), Harry (1872), John (1875), Albert (1880), Martha (1882) and Annie (1886). The 1881 and 1891 Census shows Fred and his family living at a house in Fountain Grove in Kirkstall but by 1901 they had moved to 49 St. Anne`s Avenue in Leeds.

On the 16th September 1903 Fred married Lucy Greaves in St. Michael`s Church in Headingley. At the time Fred was living in Pudsey and the marriage record notes his occupation as an `operator` whilst Lucy was from Headingley and the daughter of John Greaves a bricklayer. Fred and Lucy went on to have five children together, the first two, Frank Greaves ((1904) and Arthur (1906) were both born in Headingley before Fred and his family made the trip across the Pennines and moved to Southport. Two more children followed their arrival in Southport, Fred (1909) and then Lucy Greaves (1911), Lucy was born just before the 1911 Census was recorded. The Census of that year shows the family living in a six roomed property at 59 Poulton Road in Southport, Fred`s occupation was a dairyman. In May of 1916 Fred and Lucy had their fifth and final child, a son, and he was named John Greaves Gamble (died 2004).

Fred`s service papers, as is the case for many of the men who served, do not appear to have survived therefore his enlistment date is unknown. His Medal Index Card indicates that Fred went overseas after January 1916 so he would have gone as a reinforcement, the Medal Rolls noting that he originally joined the 7th Battalion LNL and then at some point he was either transferred or attached to the 9th Battalion LNL. The 9th Battalion had been in France since the 26th  September 1915, coming under the Command of 74th Brigade in 25th Division.

Towards the end of 1916 and into January 1917 the 9th Battalion was in the Ploegsteert area, alternating between trenches and the Regina rest camp. On the 18th January 1917, having had a brief spell in the support trenches, the Battalion moved into the front line trenches after relieving the 13th Cheshire Regiment. Sadly, Fred was killed, date of death given as 18th January 1917, there is no mention in the War Diary of any particular action so it`s possible that Fred died during the relief operation.

After the war Fred`s widow Lucy would have received his British War and Victory Medals to which he was entitled and would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

Fred was later buried with honour in Berk`s Cemetery Extension, his family had the following simple words inscribed at the foot of his gravestone;

“Faithful unto death”

When the Southport War Memorial was being planned, Lucy made sure her husband was remembered and his name appears alongside the names of the other men from Southport who also made the ultimate sacrifice, the Memorial was unveiled by the Earl of Derby in 1923.

The names of the men appear on panels on the inside of the two buildings shown in the photograph, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment panel is in the building on the left of the picture;

Rank: Private
Service Number: 34035
Date of Death: 18/01/1917
Aged: 38
Regiment: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.

Janet Davis
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