Private Frederick Henry Knight

Regiment: 1st/4th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No: TF/3010

Date & place of birth: 2nd qtr. 1892 at Cocking, Sussex
Date & place of death: 28 October 1916 (aged 24) in Ismailia, Egypt

Frederick Knight was a member of a long-time Cocking family, many of whom still live in the village today. He died in hospital in Egypt.

Family background

Frederick Henry Knight was the son of Thomas Henry Knight (1867–1946) and Alice Jane née Williams (1872–1946). Thomas had been born in Cocking and in 1890 he married Alice Williams, who was originally from Portsmouth, although her family moved to Cocking when she was a child. The couple settled in Cocking to bring up their family and their first son George Thomas, was born in 1891 and Frederick the following year.

At the time of the 1911 census, they were living at 361 Hill Foot Cottage and had a further four sons: Edgar Maurice, Aubrey Clayton, Andrew Arthur and Roland John. Their two youngest children at the time were both girls, Valda Ivy and Ena Elizabeth. Altogether, the couple had 11 children, of whom 3 had died as infants.

In 1911, Thomas and his eldest son were farm labourers and Frederick was a cowman. Frederick later found employment in the brickyard on the Cowdray estate; he was also a member of the Midhurst town band.

Military service

Frederick was still unmarried when he enlisted into The Royal Sussex Regiment in Horsham as a member of the Territorial Force. In 1915 this force moved from Horsham to Cambridge and transferred to the 160th Brigade of the 53rd Division.

In July they moved to the Mediterranean via Mudros, where they engaged in various actions as part of the Gallipoli campaign.  In December that year they were evacuated to Egypt due to heavy injuries from combat, disease and severe weather conditions.  In 1916 the Division then engaged in action in the Battle of Romani as part of the Palestine Campaign.

Death & commemoration

Frederick Knight died in the military hospital, Ismailia, Egypt, on 28 October 1916.  He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

He is buried in the Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery in Al-Qantarah, Shamal Sina’, Egypt and commemorated on the Cocking War Memorial.

A memorial service was held at Cocking Parish Church on Thursday, 30 November 1916.

Subsequent family history

Frederick’s parents, Thomas and Alice remained in the village until they died within a few months of each other in 1946.

After the war most of Frederick’s siblings also remained in the village and   raised their own families.  Two nephews still live in Cocking and several members of their families still live in the Midhurst area.

 

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project