[Skip to content]



  • Photograph was published 4th August 1916 in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Barnsley, West Yorkshire.
Reginald was the only child of Arthur and Annie Fretwell (née Winfield). His father was born in about 1870 and his mother in Nottinghamshire on 11 April 1862. They were married at All Saints, Bakewell, Derbyshire, in 1892 (A/M/J Bakewell) and had one son, Reginald b. Barnsley 1897 (O/N/D Barnsley) bap. Barnsley St John 31 October 1897. In 1901 Arthur (31), a butcher, and Annie (37) were living at 174 Doncaster Road, Barnsley, with their son Reginald (3). According to a newspaper report of Reginald's death his parents then kept the White Lion at Huthwaite for a number of years. However, by 1911 the family was living at the Greyhound Inn, 30 Stockwell Gate, Mansfield, where Arthur was the inn keeper. Also in the household were two domestic servants, Betsy Grainger (28) and Winifred Grainger (18) both of Stanton Hill, Nottinghamshire. Arthur Fretwell died in March 1914 (J/F/M Mansfield) aged about 44. His widow Annie was living at 72 Union Street, Mansfield, when their son was killed in 1916 and she continued to live at the same address until her death. Annie married Arthur Henry Salmon, a colliery weighman, in 1916 (O/N/D Mansfield), a few months after the death of her son. Arthur Salmon died on 8 October 1921. Annie died thirty years later on 6 April 1951.
Attended Maltby's Commercial School, Mansfield. He had just completed a course at the North of England Motor School in Manchester when he enlisted.
11 Jul 1916
18
750244 - CWGC Website
23148
72 Union Street, Mansfield. Enlisted Mansfield.
Private
16th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Reginald Fretwell enlisted January 1915 and served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was killed by a shell in the attack on Troneswood. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 4 A).
Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser: 03/08/1916: Mansfield Man Killed. Fell at his Colonel's side at the moment of Victory. Aged 18. Killed in action on 10 July 1916. Mother lives at 72 Union Street, Mansfield. Killed at the action at Troneswood. A letter from a major was included in the report. Article from Ibid :- “PRIVATE R. FRETWELL, OF MANSFIELD, KILLED. “Information reached Mansfield last week that Private Reginald Fretwell, No. 2348, 16th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, had been killed in action on Monday, 10th July. His mother, Mrs. Fretwell, of No. 72, Union-street, has now received a letter from his Major, F. R. H. McLlellan, as follows: — “16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, B.E.F. — Dear Madam, — l am writing to express my sympathy with you in the loss of your son, Pte. R. Fretwell, who was killed in action on the 10th of this month. You should have been informed sooner, but I have been away from the company, and the other officers had not your address. Your boy fell at his colonel's side, almost at the moment of victory, for the enemy was already beginning to retire from the position we were assaulting. His death, l am told, was instantaneous. I can only add that I feel his loss and that of so many other brave boys most keenly, and I pray that the sacrifice made by them and their mothers may not be in vain, for they are the price we are paying for the honour and liberty of our race. — Yours very faithfully, F. R. H. McLellan, Major.” [Major McLellan survived the war] “Private R. Fretwell was born at Barnsley in Yorkshire. afterwards removing to Huthwaite with his parents, who kept the White Lion Inn there for some years. He entered Maltby's Commercial School at Mansfield, where he completed his education. His father kept the Greyhound Hotel at Mansfield for some years previous to his death, which took place in March 1914. After his father's death he went to the North of England Motor Schools, Ltd., of Manchester, where he took his Automobile Certificates, and on returning home enlisted in January. 1915, in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He has been “somewhere in France” for the past nine months, but although the War Office report briefly states that he was killed in action the place was not stated in the letters received, from his soldier comrades, it is believed that he was killed in the attack on Trones Wood. “One of his comrades writes:— “He was killed in action on the 10th inst. We were taking part in the advance, and during an attack on some woods he was killed instantly by a shell, only a few yards from our colonel, who was killed at the same time. I hope God will give you the strength to bear this sad news. He died a hero's death, and we shall always have fond memories of one who endeared himself to all. During the short time I have known him he was everything a man could be, and I hope and pray you will be able to bear the sad burden which has been placed on you. My sympathy, as well as the few chums who are left, is sent with this letter. If possible, I will get you full particulars as to where he is buried, and let you know later.” “Mrs. Fretwell has received much sympathy from her many friends in the loss of this, her only child. Private Fretwell was a nephew of Mr. W. Godfrey, school attendance officer, of Mansfield.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his mother Annie was his sole legatee
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph was published 4th August 1916 in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Reginald Fretwell - Photograph was published 4th August 1916 in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918