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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times on 2nd November 1916 following the death of Fred Ostick
Person Details
He was the son of John Henry and Mary Elizabeth Ostick John Henry was born at Rampton and Mary Elizabeth B Anderson at Sturton-le-Steeple. They were married in 1888 (Jan/Feb/Mar) and according to the information given on the 1911 census they had 13 children born alive of whom only 10 were still living at the time of the 1911 census. Eleven children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911; Annie Elizabeth, George (1890), Harry Wright (1892), Frederick (Fred), Millicent Louise (Millie, 1896), Doris Margaret (1898, d. 1901), Charles Leslie (Leslie, 1903), Kathleen Gertrude (Kittie, 1906), Sarah Ellen (Nellie, 1908), Mabel (1910) and one unnamed child who at the time of the 1911 census was 1 month old (possibly a daughter, Mary W.). All the children were born in Retford. In 1891 John (34) and Mary (32) were living on St John's Street, East Retford, with their two children, Annie (3) and George (7 months). John was working as a life assurance agent. By 1901 they had moved to 25 Water Lane, East Retford, and John was now a grocers' assistant. They had six children; Annie, George, Harry (8), Fred (6), Millie (4) and Doris (3). Their youngest child, Doris, died the same year, aged 3 (death registered Oct/Nov/Dec). John and Mary were still living at the same address ten years later although John was now working as a 'fellmonger' in an industry described as 'skinyard'. Eight children were in the household on the night of the census: Harry, Fred, Millie, Leslie (7), Kittie (5), Nellie (2), Mabel (1) and 'infant Ostick (1 month). Two of Frederick's brothers also died in the war: Harry, who served with the RMLI (Chatham Division) and died when HMS Formidable was lost on 1 January 1915 (Chatham Naval Memorial), and George, who served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers (43268 Private) and was killed in action on 16 August 1917 (New Irish Farm Cemetery). Both their parents died in 1931; their mother's death was registered in June (age 61 b. abt. 1870), and their father's death in December (age 66, b. abt. 1865).
In 1911 he was a labourer in a foundry.
16 Sep 1916
807512 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Neuve Chapelle lies West of Lille in Northern France equidistant between the A25 and A26 auto routes and was the site of the first entirely British attack of the war between 10 and 13 March 1915. Planned as part of an allied attack in the Artois region, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle was fought by IV Corps consisting of the 7th and 8th Divisions and the Indian Corps. It set the pattern of many attacks throughout most of the war in that after initial success the ability of the Imperial German Army to counterattack often saw valiant efforts brought to naught and so it was at Neuve Chapelle. Fred Ostick was 19 at the outbreak of the war working at the Rubber Works in Retford and was already serving in ‘A’ Company of the 1/8th Sherwood Foresters, part of The Territorial Force. Rather than wait for the Territorials to be prepared for action he joined up with the regulars when after topping up on the training he had already received as a territorial be was a member of one of several drafts to join the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (the Old Stubborns) on the Western Front during the Autumn and Winter of 1914/15. The battalion which had returned from India in September served in the 24th Brigade of the 8th Division. It was the counter attacks supported by very effective artillery which caused most of the casualties during the day and night of the 11th/12th. Out of 18 officers who went into action 9 were killed and 7 wounded with 90 other ranks killed and 265 wounded with 87 missing. Pte Fred Ostick was wounded by a bullet in the left thigh ‘a blighty one’, which meant he was returned to England where he was treated at the New Central Base Hospital in Manchester. Fred’s wound quickly healed and he was able to enjoy his consequential home leave at the end of April. Fit again Fred reported to the Foresters’ base depot and this time was posted to the 2nd Battalion. He was to serve with them in the Ypres Salient prior to taking part in the larger Battle of the Somme during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette which commenced on 15 September 1916 when the 2nd Battalion was part of the 6th Division in XIV Corps of the Fourth Army. In the part of the battle involving the 6th Division the German stronghold known as the Quadrilateral was captured but at great loss. The novelty of tanks being engaged for the first time proved fruitless to the 6th Division as the three allotted to it proved to be useless in the action. Out of a strength on going into the battle of 681, a total 438 were casualties (killed, wounded or missing) well illustrating the attritional nature of warfare at this stage. One of those killed was Private Fred Ostick whose body was never recovered and whose name appears on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing. His name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme Copyright Robert Ilett 2013.
The following is an obituary notice in the Retford Times 2nd November 1916 'TWO BROTHERS KILLED Private Fred Ostick, Retford. Mr and Mrs John Henry Ostick, 25 Water Lane, Moorgate, Retford, have received the sad news of the death in France of their third son, Private Fred Ostick, Sherwood Foresters. The deceased fell in battle between September 13th and 16th, and his parents received information of his death on his 22nd birthday. The second son, Harry Wright Ostick, went down on the Formidable on January 1st, 1915 and the eldest son, Pte George Ostick, who has served in the Dardenelles, has been transferred from the Sherwood Foresters to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Pte Fred Ostick was last in Retford in May on six days leave of absence. Great sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Ostick in their great bereavement. Mr Ostick is a member of the Volunteer Corps.'
Remembered on


  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times on 2nd November 1916 following the death of Fred Ostick
    Fred Ostick - This photo was first published in the Retford Times on 2nd November 1916 following the death of Fred Ostick
  • Photo shows the death plaque (dead man's penny ) of Fred Ostick, now at Bassetlaw Museum, Retford . Courtesy of the Bassetlaw Museum.
    Fred Ostick - Photo shows the death plaque (dead man's penny ) of Fred Ostick, now at Bassetlaw Museum, Retford . Courtesy of the Bassetlaw Museum.