Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Private Frederick George Neale, 1st/5th Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment, was killed in action during the Battle of Pozières.
The eldest of three children, he attended the British School in Wotton-under-Edge, and on leaving school found employment in one of the Tubbs-Lewis mills. He enlisted as a territorial after the outbreak of the Great War, and landed in France with his battalion on the 29th of March in 1915.
Private Neale saw action in the Ploegsteert area of Belgium and then later on the Somme in July of 1916, when his battalion had moved into the front line trenches opposite Serre. They were held in reserve around Sailly au Bois, Couin and Maillet-Mailly until the middle of July, and then were heavily involved in the taking of Ovillers, attacking German positions north-west of Pozieres – the heaviest days of fighting were the night of the 15th and 16th of August and the 27th of that month.
Private Neale’s family were informed that he had been wounded and was reported missing on the 16th of August. In October another report stated that he was “believed killed”. It is not clear as to when his family received official notification, but it was not until August of 1919 that a memorial notice appeared in the Gazette stating that he was presumed killed. His medals are on display in the 150 First World War Heroes of Wotton-under-Edge display at the Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme as well as the Wotton-under-Edge war memorial.
Frederick, born in Plymouth and raised in Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire, was 21 years old.