The DAY family – Private DAY, Frederick Bernard (1898-1917)

Day 5 Daneshill Road
5 Daneshill Road, where Frederick was born

Frederick was born in 1898 at 5 Dane Hill Road, Leicester, the only son of Frederick “Fred” Day (1861-1930) and Jane Eliza Hart, known as “Ginny” (1867-1955) who also had five daughters Olivia Jane (1889-1939), Elsie Emma (1892-1979), Constance Mary “Connie” (1893-), Dorothy Mildred (1896-1978) and Marjorie Susan (1903-1997).  He was baptised at St Paul’s on 24th April 1898.  Frederick senior was a fine art dealer and picture framer whose business was at 24 Pocklington’s Walk.  The family lived at 33 Dane Hill Road in 1901 and from at least 1906-1912 at 8 Newtown Street.  By the start of the war the Days lived at 55 Regent Road, where they would remain until after their son’s death.

Frederick Bernard was just sixteen when the war started.  He initially enlisted into the Royal Army Service Corps, perhaps unable to join a front line force due to his young age.  However he eventually joined the 2/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.  The 2/6th Battalion moved from Lancashire to Kent in May 1915 and landed at Le Havre 28th February 1917.  So Frederick would have been in France for just seven months when he died on 8th November 1917 in Rouen at the 4th General Hospital of wounds sustained at Passchendaele, probably at the Battle of Poelcapelle.  Accounts of the nightmare conditions endured by the men of the battalion at that time include marching through knee deep mud, trying to ignore the screams of their drowning fallen comrades, before meeting German machine guns.

His parents placed a notice in The Leicester Mercury on 22nd November 1917: “DAY – On November 18th, Pte F B Day, Lancashire Fusiliers, died of wounds in France, only son of Mr and Mrs Fred Day, 55 Regent Road, aged 19.”

After having lived for over ten years at Regent Road, Frederick senior and Ginny retired circa 1927 to The Knoll, Frisby on the Wreake, where Frederick died in 1930.  Frederick was buried at Welford Road Cemetery and joined by his daughter Olivia in 1939.  Jane returned to Leicester and lived at 4 Evington Park Road.  She died in 1955 at The Towers Hospital, outliving her only son by almost forty years.  She was buried elsewhere.

Day 3Unlike daughter Olivia, Frederick was commemorated on his father’s gravestone at Welford Road Cemetery:  Frederick Bernard/Beloved son/Died of wounds in France/18th Nov 1917

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