War dead Male Born 10/3/1898 Died 15/9/1916
Born St Pancras. Private. Killed in action, France and Flanders, 15/9/16. High Wood (Somme). Pte Britcher is buried in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France.
Our colleague Andrew Behan has researched this man: He was born Frederick Charles Britcher on 10 March 1898, the son of Frederick Britcher and Alice Britcher, nee Hatch and his birth was registered in St Pancras. His father was a General Labourer and Carman. On 24 April 1898 he was baptised at St Andrew's Church, Haverstock Hill, and the family were living in the parish at 39 Weedington Road but by the time of the 1901 census they were at 7 Salot Road, Walthamstow. On 22 February 1904 he was admitted into the Cottenham Road School, Islington and the family address was 54 Kingsdown Road. By 6 November 1905 the family were at 3 Colva Street, Dartmouth Park Hill and on 19 March 1906 he was transferred to St Annes National School, Brookfield, Camden whilst the family had also moved to 56 Doynton Street, Highgate. The 1911 census shows the family still at this address and he is listed there as a 13 year old MilK Boy.
On 4 May 1915 he enlisted into the 19th Battalion (St Pancras) County of London Regiment, service number 4268, under the name of Fred Britcher. He claimed to be a Butcher, aged 19 years and 30 days old, but he was in fact just over 17 years of age. He landed in France with his regiment on 28 October 1915 and was Killed in Action attached to D Company on 15 September 1916, aged 18 years. He is buried in Grave XX. N. 10, Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France.
In October 1916 his mother wrote to the army from her home in 7 College Lane, Kentish Town, requesting them to confirm if her son was still alive or had been killed in action as she had seen his name listed as such in the newspapers. The letter was received on 12 October 1916 but army communications were so chaotic that their headquarters were not informed of his death until 19 October 1916. She received his £3-0s-8d back pay on 5 April 1917 and a £5-10s-0d war gratuity on 30 September 1919. He was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal.