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Frederick William was the third child and only son of Frederick William Dexter and Kathleen (also 'Katherine') Dexter nee Ward. His mother was born in Mansfield and she and Frederick were married in 1885 (A/M/J Mansfield, Katherine Ward). They had four children, Kathleen Mary b. 2 July 1886 (J/A/S Nottingham), Agnes b. abt 1889, Frederick William and Norah Annie (also 'Nora') b. 1 September 1899 (O/N/D Nottingham). All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1901 Frederick (40) a printer, and Kathleen were living at 114 Sherwood Street, Nottingham, with their children Kathleen (14) a lace machinist, Agnes (11), Frederick (4) and Nora (1). By 1911 Frederick (51) and Kathleen (50) were living at 1 Beaconsfield Terrace, Heskey Street, Huntingdon Street, Nottingham. Only Frederick (14), who was working for a box making company, was in the home on the night of the census. The eldest daughter, Kathleen, had married Charles Lefley (b. 22 December 1878) and in 1911 was living at 124 South Street, New Whittington, Chesterfield, with her husband, who was a coal miner hewer, and their son Bernard (1, b. Lincoln). Agnes (21), a lace hand, was probably one of two boarders living in the household of Ambrose Milnes (31) single, a coal dealer, at 11 Court Street, Nottingham in 1911 while the youngest daughter, Nora (11), was living at 62 Stockwell Gate, Mansfield, with her widowed maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Ward (74) and her unmarried aunt, Agnes Mary Ward (31) a shopkeeper on her own account. Frederick's mother, Kathleen, died in 1913 (O/N/D Nottingham) aged 53. His father later lived at 21 Harley Street, Lenton, Nottingham. Of Frederick's sisters: Kathleen Mary (Lefley) was still living in Chesterfield with her husband, Charles, at the time of the National Register of England and Wales in 1939. Charles died in 1955 (Sept Chesterfield) and Kathleen in 1966 (Jun Chesterfield) aged 79. Agnes has not been traced after 1911. Norah was probably still unmarried and living in Mansfield with her widowed aunt, Agnes M Jones (b. 12 February 1878) in 1939. Both were working as 'laundry hands county institution'. Norah probably died in 1976 (Jun Mansfield) aged 76.
In 1911 he was a sewing box maker.
01 Jul 1916
756839 - CWGC Website
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He was reported missing on 1 July 1916 but his death was not confirmed until May the following year. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A).
Writing to his father, Rifleman Frederick William Dexter, 1/7th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Robin Hood Rifles), described some of his experiences during the fighting at Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13th October 1915 his letter was published on 9th November 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “THE GALLANT ROBIN HOODS. “MORE ABOUT THE HOHENZOLLERN ATTACK. “Another vivid account of the part taken the local Territorials in the famous attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt contained in a letter received Mr. F. N. [sic] Dexter, Beaconsfield-terrace, Harlaxton-street, Nottingham, from his son, who is in the Robin Hoods. “We got in the trenches," says the writer, “in the early morning, and had a bit of breakfast. Everything was ready. At last we received the word 'Stand to, Robin Hoods,’ and the fight commenced. A cloud of smoke went up. Guns started, and a general fusillade of everything. We sent gas and smoke again, and everything was either a cloud of smoke or else fire. At last the attack started. The boys were fine. Word was passed down ‘This way, C Company.' ‘Are you ready?’ ‘Up you go, and the best of luck’ “The Robins kept going. We got there, and there we meant to stick, and stick we did. Many a good lad had fallen, but we went on undaunted. At one part the fight, I, with others, was cut off, and going up the trench found it blown in. A soldier dashed across the opening. We asked him a question, and put he his linger to his ears. He had been struck deaf. Well we had got to get out somehow. We tried the other end, and they dropped shells there, till that was blown in. What pickle! Shells dropping all round, and to top it up they dropped one amongst us. That did it. Trench blown in, and we to find a road out. “I was deaf for about a quarter of an hour. But after wandering around got where we wanted to go, so all was well. We lost one or two fellows through it. Night came on, and what a sight! Shells still bursting. I was told, with others, to start a job. There on every hand lay our fellows, dead, dying, and wounded. Men who had answered the call, and paid with their lives that others can have liberty! Such is the life the soldier — to win or die. These men had fought and died, but their memory lives. “At last we were relieved and left the trench, pleased that we had done our best. After the fight the general said: “I knew what the Sherwoods would do. I wish I could give you all a medal.” But we still keep smiling; we are only doing our bit." Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Nottingham Evening Post , ‘Roll of Honour’, 26 May 1917: ‘Dexter. Missing since July 1st, 1916, now reported killed. Private FW Dexter, Sherwood Foresters, late of 1, Beaconsfield-terrace, Harlaxton-street. From his stricken father and sorrowing sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In memoriam’, 2 July 1917. ‘Dexter. In loving memory of my dear son, Private FW Dexter, reported killed July 1st 1916. From father and sisters’ (www.britishnewspaperarchives.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father, Frederick William, was his legatee.
Remembered on