Private 34940 Frederick Houldey

Killed in Action on Monday, 23rd April 1917, age 37.
Commemorated on Bay 7 of Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

9th Bn., King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. 64th Brigade of 21st Division.
Formerly 3157 Durham Light Infantry.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Stockton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/784288/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Frederick Houldey registered September quarter 1880 in Dudley.

1901 Census
123 Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Frederick Houldy (58, Boilermaker, born Gloucester), his wife May (59, born Tipton), and their 3 children: Charles (25, Boilermaker, born Tipton), Fred (21, General Labourer, born Tipton), and Rose (19, born Tipton).

Marriage of Frederick Houldey and Ann Stevens registered December quarter 1903 in Middlesbrough.

1911 Census
39 Francis Street, Thornaby on Tees, Middlesborough.
Fred Houldey (29, Steel Sheet Galvaniser, born Toll End), his wife Ann (24, born Dudley Port), and their 3 surviving children of 5: Frederick William (7, School, born Thornaby-on-Tees), Ralph (5, born Moxley), Mary Ann (4, born Moxley). A futher 3 children were born: Charles H. in June quarter 1911, Edith in September quarter 1913, and Sidney in March quarter 1915; all 3 births were registered in Middlesbrough.

Personal Data

After Frederick's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £5/3/3d (5 pounds, 3 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his widow, Ann, in September 1917. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in January 1920, by this time she had re-married and was Mrs Ann Gartland. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Alfred had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (9/KOYLI) belonged to 64th Brigade of 21st Division. On the first day of the Battle of Arras, 9th April 1918, they had been in action to the north-east and east of Henin-sur-Cojeuel.

At 4.30pm they attacked the Hindenburg line towards Heninel and Wancourt, but found the German barbed-wire defences still in good order and their attack was unsuccessful. 67 officers and men were killed that day, and over 100 were wounded.

On the next day, the 10th, the 9/KOYLI were relieved and moved to reserve 4 miles west in Boiry-St-Martin, and then a further 5-miles west to Blairville.

They remained in Blairville until 23rd April when they received orders to move back towards the front line. Frederick Houldey is reported to have been killed in action on the 23rd April, but no enemy action is shown in the Battalion War Diary.

The War Diary for 23rd April said:
“Order arrived from Brigade for immediate movement to Mercatel, the Brigade being attached to 50th Division. Battalion reached Mercatel shortly after 4pm and bivouacked…“.

Frederick may have been killed on this date and the incident not thought to merit an entry in the War Diary, however it may have been an error with the date. This is unlikely to ever be more fully resolved, and we can only assume that the date of death of 23rd April is the correct date of death for Frederick.

Newspaper Cuttings