Private Edgar Charles Frost, aged 21, of the 23rd Battalion Middlesex Regiment, and Private Frederick Edgar Grimes, aged 29, of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, both died of wounds in France on 5th October 1916.
Edgar Charles Frost was born in 1895 in Solihull and was the third of the four children (three sons, one daughter) of parents Abraham Charles (a grocer’s assistant, later a gardener) and Mary Ann Thomas Frost (née Breakspear) who had married in Alcester in 1889. In 1901, the family was living in Lugtrout Lane, Hampton-in-Arden.
By 1911, they had moved to Aylesbury Cottage, Hockley Heath, where 15-year-old Edgar was a timber labourer. His older sister, Eveline Elizabeth Lucy (1890-1968) had left the family home and was working as a houseparlourmaid to a widowed dressmaker in Leamington Hastings. His younger brothers Arthur Joseph Breakspear Frost (1893-1988) and Albert Victor Frost (1897-1977) were still at home.
By the time Edgar enlisted in the Army, he had become a baker’s assistant. Aged 20, he joined the Middlesex Regiment on 17th November 1915. He was posted overseas from 3rd May 1916, and was wounded in action on 15th September 1916. He died of wounds at no. 36 Casualty Clearing Station and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Méricourt-L’Abbé.
He is commemorated locally on Hockley Heath war memorial, and St Thomas’s Church, Hockley Heath, as well as Umberslade Baptist Church.
Frederick Edgar Grimes was born in Solihull on 1st March 1887. He was the second child and only son of parents, Frederick John (a farmer) and Emily (née Peck). His sister, Henrietta Ethel, was born in 1885 and baptised at St Alphege Church.
By 1891, the family was in West Bromwich, but had moved back to the Solihull area by 1901, when they were living at Lowbrook Farm, Solihull Lodge. In December 1905, Frederick began work as a railway porter at Hatton station. He was suspended for two days in July 1907 for falling asleep on duty, and for four days in December 1907 for neglect of duty. He resigned in October 1909. In 1911, his parents were living in Whitlocks End, Shirley, but both of their children had left home. Henrietta was working as a dressmaker and boarding in Edgbaston. We haven’t been able to find Frederick Edgar Grimes on the 1911 census, so don’t know where he was working after leaving his employment with the Great Western Railway in 1909.
However, he first entered a Theatre of War on 12th August 1914, just one week after the outbreak of war, suggesting he was either a regular soldier or in the Territorials. He died of wounds on 5th October 1916 and is buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen. He is commemorated locally on the war memorial at Shirley.
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