[Skip to content]

  • Buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Darlington, County Durham
Fred Barrett was the son of John Watson and Caroline Louisa Armitage (née Barrett). His father John Watson was born in Darlington in 1843, the son of Matthew and Mary Ann Armitage, and baptised at Darlington St Cuthbert on 11 November 1843. His mother Caroline Louisa Barrett was also born in Darlington in 1845, the daughter of Frederick and Sophia Barrett and baptised on 25 December 1845. His parents were married on 9 April 1872 and had six children, born in Darlington, of whom five survived: Mary May b. 1873 (J/F/M) bap. Darlington St Cuthbert 26 February 1873; Fred Barrett b. 1875 (J/F/M) bap. 10 March 1875; Florence Jessie b. 1881 bap. 7 September 1881; John Henry b. 7 July 1885 bap. 29 July 1885 and Effie Carrie b. 1888 bap. 27 June 1888. In 1891 his parents and their daughter Mary (8) were living at 5 Cliffe Terrace, Woodlands Road, Darlington. However, on the night of the census, Fred (6) was in the home of his grandparents, Matthew Armitage, a builder and joiner, and his wife Mary Ann, at 9 Cliffe Terrace, Woodlands Road, Darlington. By the time of the 1891 Census John (47) an accountant with the borough council, his wife and their five children, Mary, Fred, Florence (9), John (5) and Effie (2), were all in the family home at 5 Cliffe Terrace. His parents and siblings were still living at the same address in 1901 but Fred, a traveller (wire rope), was living with a cousin and his family on Rothwell Road, Gosforth, Northumberland. His family was still living at 5 Cliffe Terrace in 1911. His father John Watson died in 1924 and his mother Caroline in 1929. Of his siblings: Mary died in Edinburgh on 21 April 1939 although her home was at 10b Woodlands Terrace, Darlington. Florence Jessica married George Sylvester Walker, a farmer, in Darlington on 15 April 1909 and they had at least two children, George Armitage b. 15 February 1910 and Florence Mary b. 11 September 1915. They were living at Grange Farm, Darlington, when her husband enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry (38979 Private) in December 1915. He died in a military hospital in the UK on 17 September 1916, cause of death 'heart failure (acute alcoholism).' A letter dated December 1916 from the War Office to the OIC Infantry Records, York, advised that 'As the death which caused the death of (etc) was due to his own fault, his widow and children are not eligible for pension or other grant from Army Funds. The case, however, has been referred to the War Pensions etc. Statutory Committee ... for consideration under the Naval and Military War Pensions Act 1915.' There are no other documents relating to this decision in the (damaged) record. Florence married George Snowdon in 1919 (J/F/M Auckland Durham). She has not yet been traced after this date. John Henry married Gladys M Robinson (b. 26 Octrober 1908) in 1931. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled John, an engineering assistant, and his wife were living on Woodland Terrace, Darlington. John died in 1974. Effie married Eric M Slater (b. 14 June 1894) in 1927. In 1939 they were living in Hale, Cheshire; Eric was a local government officer. The widowed Effie died in Hastings on 20 August 1984. Fred moved to Nottingham and in 1907 he married Caroline Hallam (b. 25 May 1887). Fred and Caroline had at least four children: John Edwin b. Lenton 21 February 1908, Doreen Lilian b. Lenton 18 October 1909, Florence May b. 6 September 1912 and Jessie May b. 1 April 1916. In 1911 Fred, a commercial traveller (wire rope), and Caroline were living at 5 Grove Street, Beeston, with their two children John (3) and Doreen (1). The family had moved to Queen's Road, Beeston, by the time of Fred's death in 1918. The youngest daughter Jessie died in 1920 and the oldest daughter Doreen died in September 1927 aged 17. In 1939 Caroline and her daughter Florence, a distributor of gowns and mantles, were living at 11 Melrose Avenue, Beeston. Neither Caroline nor Florence have yet been traced after 1939. The only son, John Edwin, married Hilda Elizabeth Dicken (b. 22 September 1907) in 1934 and they had two children, John D. b. 31 December 1936 and Colin E. b. 1941 (O/N/D). In 1939 John, a shop manager (soft furnishing retail), his wife and son John, were living at 1 Lawley Avenue, Derby Road, Nottingham. John Edwin served in the 14th/20th King's Hussars, Royal Army Corps, and was killed on 25 August 1941, probably before the birth of his second son. (See extra information). Hilda did not remarry and died in 1981.
He was a commercial traveller in wire rope.
19 Nov 1918
577214 - CWGC Website
56th Motor Transport Coy Army Service Corps
56th Motor Transport Coy, Army Service Corps Fred Barrett Armitage died at No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station on 19th November 1918 as a result of an accident. He was buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France (grave ref. I.D.23). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal CWGC - History of Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery (extract): 'Valenciennes remained in German hands from the early days of the First World War until 1-2 November 1918 ... In November and December 1918, the 2nd, 57th, 4th Canadian and 32nd Casualty Clearing Stations were posted at Valenciennes and the last of them did not leave until October 1919 ... The Communal Cemetery of St. Roch was used by the Germans in August and September 1914 and an extension was then made on the south-east side. The Commonwealth plots were made adjoining the German: I and II contain the graves of October 1918 to December 1919.'
Nottingham Evening Post, 19th November 1919: 'ARMITAGE. – Sacred to the loving memory of my dear husband, Fred Barrett Armitage, Queen's-road, Beeston, accidentally killed in France November 19th, 1918. – Loving wife and children.' Obituary courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Probate was awarded to Fred's widow, Caroline (Nottingham 1 July 1919, £1060 7s 3d). Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 15 September 1927: ‘Armitage. Doreen Lillian, the beloved daughter of the late Fred Barrett and Carrie Armitage of (-)-road, Beeston, aged 17. Into Thine hands (-).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) His son John Edwin served in the Second World War and was killed in 1941: CWGC 2169519 John Edwin Armitage. Age 33. Date of death 25 August 1941. 7917749 Trooper 14th/20th King’s Hussars. Royal Armoured Corps. Cemetery: Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. Additional information: 'Son of Pte. Fred Barratt Armitage, R.A.S.C. (killed in action in France, 19th November, 1918), and Carrie Armitage, husband of Hilda Elizabeth Armitage, of Beeston, Nottinghamshire.'
Remembered on


  • Buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Fred Barrett Armitage - Buried in Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)