26th October 1914

Lieutenant Frederic Roger John Tomlinson, 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, was killed by a shell on 26th October 1914 whilst being taken to the base hospital near Ypres. He had fought through the night of 25th October and had captured six German snipers when he was wounded in the arm. He was 23 years old.

He was born in Cornwall on 22nd October 1891 and was the youngest of five children (three sons, two daughters). His father, Rev. Arthur Roger Tomlinson (1844-1919) had been Rector of St Michael, Penkevil since 1880 and his mother, Theresa Juliana Marie (née Symonds) was born in Auckland, New Zealand. The couple married in New Zealand in 1876 when Rev. Tomlinson was Chaplain to the Bishop of Auckland and incumbent at St Peter’s, Onehunga. The couple’s two eldest children were born in New Zealand in 1877 and 1879. In 1899, Rev. Tomlinson became Vicar at Bolton-le-Sands, a position he held until his death in 1919.

Frederic was educated at Westminster College and Trinity College, Cambridge. At the time of the 1911 census, he was living with his brother at Frogmore Lodge, Fen End. He was recorded as a 19-year-old student. His brother, Arthur William, was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and was living with his wife and baby son.

When war broke out, he was studying marine engineering at the North Eastern Marine Engineering College. He received a commission in August 1914.

It seems that his death wasn’t known for some months, and he was actually gazetted Lieutenant in December 1914, two months after being killed. He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. Having moved away from Temple Balsall, he is not commemorated locally.

There is an individual plaque in his memory at Bolton-le-Sands, where his father had been Vicar.

If you have any further information, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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