Serjeant Frederick Hambro Sims

Frederick Hambro Sims

The son of a Police Superintendent, Fred was born in Poole in June 1895. At a time when Policemen lived in Police Stations, Fred moved around with his father’s postings. In 1901 the family lived in Dorchester, by 1911 they were living in Blandford. Fred by this time had left Blandford Secondary School and is listed in the census as an Apprentice Outfitter.

We know comparatively little about Fred’s life, but we can surmise from the fact that he was serving with 9th Bn KRRC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) that he must have been a very early Kitchener volunteer as his battalion was one of the first Kitchener ones to move to France. As was common in the early days of the ‘New Army’ men with any experience at all of leading others were quickly promoted. Fred was a Serjeant* when 9 KRRC landed in France in May 1915 and almost immediately was fighting in the Second Battle of Ypres.

A later part of that battle was named the Battle of Hooge at the end of July 1915. This saw the first use of Flammenwerfers (Flame-throwers) by the Germans and it was during an action to re-take trenches, as the 9KRRC War Diary puts it: ‘lost under liquid fire attack’ that Fred lost his life on the 30th July 1915. He was 21 years old.

As well as being on the school War Memorial, Fred’s name also appears on the Menin Gate memorial to the missing and in Poole United Reformed Church.

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