Herbert Freeman

Born 16th January 1897 – Died 1st of July 1916

Personal History

Herbert Edward Freeman, the second son of Alfred and Ada Freeman, was born on the 16th January 1897 in Newton Purcell, Oxfordshire. In 1911 his father was working with horses at Stanborough Farm. He attended Lemsford school from 1902 to 1910 when he left to work on a farm. Attended St Johns School November 25th 1902 – December 21st 1910

War Record

7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment By October 1914 he had enlisted at St Albans and joined the Bedfordshire Regiment and was at the Front before October 1915. Private 16466 Herbert Freeman of a Company the 7th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment died, aged 19, on the 1st of July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

War Memorial

His name is recorded on Pier and Face 2C, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. The Bishops Hatfield Parish Magazine, Lemsford News for September 1916 contains a copy of the letter Mr & Mrs Freeman received from Herbert's captain. It reads:- 'Dear Mrs Freeman. I have received your letter of the 20th inst., and regret I can only confirm the news of your son's death, as reported by the War Office. He was killed by a bullet in the attack on the German Trenches on the 1st July, death being instantaneous. He was buried with a number of his comrades on the battlefield, about half a mile north-west of Carnoy., which is a little village about four miles east of Albert, his name being written on the cross over his grave. All his private possessions have been forwarded to the base, and should reach you in due course. Your son, Private Freeman, was one of the most useful members of my Company, and has, on several occasions, done most excellent patrol work during the winter. It may be some consolation to you that he died most gloriously in the foremost of the attack, which commenced on the 1st, and which our Battalion had the honour to lead. Please accept the sincerest sympathy of the Officers of his Company and myself in your sad loss. Yours truly, A.E. Percival, Capt.”