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Frederick Picton

52825 Private
21st (Service) Battalion (6th City) Manchester Regiment
91st Brigade 7th Division
Killed in Belgium 24 October 1917, aged 19

Frederick was born in Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire in 1898, the sixth child of William and Kate Picton. His father William was a labourer for a pheasant breeder at the time, and both he and Kate were born and brought up in Missenden. However, sometime in 1904 or 1905 the family now with nine children moved to Warnham where William was employed as a gamekeeper.

William and Kate had at least two more children in Warnham and their large family lived at Old Barn Cottage in Kingsfold. In 1911 Frederick was 13 and still at school in Warnham, whilst his two older brothers Frank and Albert were farm workers, which is almost certainly the line of work Frederick was to take up shortly after.

The Parish magazine notes that at the beginning of the war a Picton from Kingsfold enlisted. We do not know whether this was Frederick or one of his older brothers, but from Frederick's high service number it was probably not him. However from the records we find that he enlisted in Chester so must have moved away from the area, which would explain how he came to join the Manchester Regiment.

Unfortunately what we do know for certain is that he was killed in Belgium in 1917. He died just two days before the start of the Second Battle of Passchendaele in which his Battalion was involved, so probably during pre-offensive manoeuvres.

His name is recorded in Belgium on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing, so his body was never found, or his grave was lost. Although Frederick had moved away from Warnham his family still lived in the parish, and they ensured his name was added to the Warnham war memorial. Frederick was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.

Extracted from 'Warnham and the Great War' which tells the story of the 43 men and one woman from the parish who died whilst serving: http://www.warnhamsociety.org.uk/. Article supplied by Mr Steve Lancaster