Sunday, October 19, 2014

98067 Pte Fred Campbell, Royal Air Force

The F Campbell mentioned in Chailey’s parish magazine is Frederick Charles Campbell who was born in Cooksbridge, Hamsey, Sussex in 1897.  He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a four year old living at Cooksbridge with his family.  The family comprised Frederick Campbell (head, aged 36, working as a farmer), his wife Annie and their four children: Florence Campbell (aged seven), Frederick, Harold Campbell (aged two) and Albert Campbell (aged two months).  All of the children were born in Hamsey. 

Two other sons, Donald John Campbell and Stanley Campbell would follow in 1902 and 1905 respectively. 

There is little information in Chailey Parish Magazine about Frederick Campbell.  In September 1917 it is noted: Campbell, F, 3rd AM, RFC and this information is updated (belatedly) in January 1919, replacing RFC with RAF.  This entry is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. Thankfully, Fred's service record survives in AIR 79 at the National Archives and this records that he was a private gardener at the time of his enlistment into the RFC on the 26th September 1917. His address is noted as South Street, Chailey with his mother Annie as his next of kin. He was discharged on 7th March 1919.

Frederick’s brother Harold also served in the First World War and lost an arm towards the end of the war.  Sixty five years later, Chailey resident Reg Philpott was still amazed that after he had recovered, he was still able to milk a cow with one arm. 


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