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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 31521 Fred Hargreaves Ecroyd

  • Age: 26
  • From: Accrington, Lancs
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • K.I.A Monday 10th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

Fred Hargreaves Ecroyd was born in Accrington in the third quarter of 1889, the son of Samuel Ecroyd and his wife Eliza Ann (nee Hindle). His parents married at St James' Church, Accrington in 1868.

The 1891 Census shows the family are living at Hopwood Street, Accrington. His father, Samuel, was born in Accrington in 1843 and employed as a Cotton Weaver. His wife Eliza Ann was born in Edgerton, Lancashire in 1846. Fred is shown as a one year old child. He has four older sisters Betsy Ellen born in 1873 at Bolton, Sarah Alice born in 1875, Nancy H. born 1877 and Edith May born 1883.

His father died soon after the Census in the June quarter of 1891, aged 49.

By 1901 the family are living at 9 Frederick Street, Accrington. His mother is head of the household and is now widowed. Fred is now 11 and three of his sisters are still present in the home; Sarah Alice, Annie b. 1877 and Edith May.

In 1911 the family are at 109 Higher Antley Street, Accrington. Fred is now 21 and shown as employed as a baker. His mother is aged 65, and he has three sisters in the household; Sarah Alice 26 a cotton winder, Annie 34 a cotton warper, and Edith May 28 a cotton weaver.  

Fred's mother died in the December quarter of 1914, aged 69. 

Fred had moved to Liverpool by the time he enlisted in the city and was serving with the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 31521 when he was killed in action at Trones Wood. He was 26 years of age. 

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916. The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II. 

The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was a Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination,   the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.

Fred’s death was announced in the Liverpool Echo on 02nd August 1916:  


“Private Fred Ecroyd, of the “Pals”, has been killed.  He was twenty-six years of age, and resided at 71, Albany Road, Kensington, Liverpool.  He was employed at Messrs. Bibby’s Oil Mills.”

His death was also reported in the Accrington Observer on 05th August 1916:
Mrs Hagan of 11 Rose-street, Accrington, has been officially informed that her brother, Pte Fred Ecroyd, of the King’s Liverpool Regiment met his death in France, killed in action. Private Ecroyd was 27 years of age. He joined the colours in October 1915, and previous to being employed at Liverpool he worked at Messrs. Howard and Bullough's. He left for France three months since. His sisters, who reside at 84 Ormerod-street, have received a letter from a comrade to say that he had the unpleasant news to inform that Fred had been killed, but there was a little consolation in knowing that he died doing duty. Pte Ecroyd had many friends. He had been connected with St Matthew’s Church and Sunday school, Port-land-street, all his life. There will be a memorial service to-morrow (Sunday) evening when his many friends will have an opportunity of paying their last tribute of respect to his memory. 

Fred's body was either not recovered or was subsequently lost as his name is now commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.

On 01st August 1932 the Prince of Wales and the President of France inaugurated the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy. The inscription reads: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”

Probate was granted in 1917:

ECROYD - Fred Hargeaves 71 Albany Rd, Liverpool and 84 Ormerod St, Accrington, Pte King's Liverpool, died 10th or 12th July 1916 in France. Probate 10th January 1917 to sister Betsy Ellen Hagan. Effects £137 0s 4d. 

[71 Albany Road, Kensington was the home of Violet and John Henry Bush, they were taking on boarders before the war]

Soldiers Effects to sisters Mrs Betsy Ellen Hagan, Sarah Alice, Nancy Hannah and Edith May, Pension to sister Nancy Hannah, 84 Ormerod St, Accrington

Fred is commemorated on the War Memorial at  J. Bibby and Sons Ltd, Regent Road, Bootle.

Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old