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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

L/Cpl 15164 Horace Freestone

  • Age: 21
  • From: Bromborogh, Cheshire
  • 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.

Horace was born on 11th July 1894, the son of Joseph Thomas Freestone and his wife Amelia (nee Holland). They were married in Birkenhead in 1892 and Horace was the elder of their two sons.

In 1891, Joseph Thomas, the son of a manufacturing chemist, was living at 5 Kerfield Crescent, Bebington, and gave his occupation as an analytical chemist.

In 1901 the family lived at "Heuestella", Egerton Park, Birkenhead. His father, Joseph, is 32 years of age and  a maufacturing chemist born in Lambeth, his mother, Amelia, is 35 years of age and was born in Rock Ferry. Their children all born Rock Ferry are listed as; Dorothy 8, Horace 7, Arthur 5, Winifred 3. They have a servant Jessie Collingwood 20.

On the 1911 Census the family have moved to “Limehurst”, Bromborough. His father Joseph is now 42 years old and is a managing director and manufacturing chemist in “a firm of oil refiners and disinfectant manufacturers”, his mother, Amelia, is 45. His parents have been married for 19 years and have had five children all of whom have survived. All five children are living at home;  Dorothy 18, Horace 17 at school, Arthur 15 at school, Winifred 13 at school, Kathleen 6. They now have 2 servants, Emily Parr 19 and Mary Glennon 26. 

Horace was educated at Birkenhead School from 1910 -1912 and played for the Cricket XI.  

Horace enlisted in St George's Hall, Liverpool, joining the 17th Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 15164. He was one of the Cotton Contingent, as he gave his occupation as “Cotton Association” having served an apprenticeship with a firm of Liverpool cotton brokers. 

He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. 

He went to France on 07th November 1915.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal and was another to be killed in action at Trones Wood on 10th July 1916, the day before his 22nd birthday. 

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 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.

Following Horace being posted as Missing his Platoon Commander wrote to his parents 

‘I feel it my duty to write to you about your son. I have been his platoon officer since the beginning of the war, and I feel his loss enormously. He was a man I had the utmost confidence in, and if I gave him any job to do I knew that it would be properly done. He was a true British soldier and a gentleman, and I feel his loss not so much as a soldier as a personal friend, and I sincerely hope he has only been wounded and may soon be with us again". 

His anxious parents put a request for information in the Liverpool Echo on 31st July 1916


Mr and Mrs J. T. Freestone of Limehurst, Bromborough have received news that their elder son, Lance-corporal Horace Freestone is missing. He joined the C.B.K.L.R. (1st 'Pals') in August 1914, and was in "A" Company. His Lieutenant writes that after the action of July 10 he was missing. His parents would be grateful for any news concerning him.

They also placed the same request in the Birkenhead News on 02nd August 1916 


Mr and Mrs J. T. Freestone of Limehurst, Bromborough have received news that their elder son, Lance-corporal Horace Freestone is missing. He joined the 'Pals' in August 1914. His Lieutenant writes that after the action of July 10 he was missing. His parents would be grateful for any news concerning him.

His body was not recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost as his name is 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.”

Soldiers Effects to father Joseph T., no Pension record found

Horace is commemorated on the following Memorials

Bromborough War Memorial

Birkenhead School Memorial

Cotton Association Memorial now housed at Walker House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool.

His mother died in the December quarter of 1948, aged 83. 

His father died in the June quarter of 1956, aged 87.

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