Frederick Pickup

Frederick Herbert Pickup was born in 1879. His birth was registered in the June quarter of that year at Wakefield but he was born at Normonton. His parents were Henry Pickup, a 37-year-old blacksmith and Sarah Jane (nee) Peel. Amongst baby Frederick’s elder siblings was Clara Pickup – my wife’s great grandmother.

In 1881 Frederick was still the youngest in the family, with five elder brothers and sisters. The family lived at 7 Buxton Yard in the Hunslet area of Leeds. Dad was working as a blacksmith and Frederick’s eldest brother, James Henry, who was 18, was at work as a Lithographic Artist’s apprentice. Frederick’s eldest sister, 14-year-old Emma Louisa was nominally at work as a domestic servant, but at the time of the census she was unemployed.

In 1882 Frederick’s young sister, Annie was born – the last child of Henry and Sarah Jane.

We next encounter Frederick at the time of the 1891 census. The family now lived at Number 2 Hapwell Terrace in Hunslet. Just possibly the family were quite well off at this time. Father, Henry, was working as a nut and bolt maker. Also there were four children at home who were working. Susannah, aged 24, was a hat finisher. Clara, aged 22, was a cloth weaver, George, aged 17, was a clerk at an engineering works and Walter was a lithographic printer.

Frederick, in 1891, was a 12-year-old scholar.

By 1901 the family had moved to a new address, being at 20 Whitehouse Street in Hunslet. Henry, the nut and bolt maker and his wife Sarah still had three children at home. All were working and Frederick was a packer of tin ware goods.

Frederick married Lelia B Marriott in the June quarter of 1910, in Leeds. We believe they had two sons. Frank was born in 1911 and Edward in 1914

In 1911 Fred was a storekeeper living in Leeds with his wife and son.

Frederick joined the West Yorkshire Regiment. We are told that his number 15/1094 makes him one of the ‘Leeds Pals’ who signed up at the start of the war.

In December 1915, The Leeds Pals were in Egypt, defending the Suez Canal, but in March 1916 they were sent to France.

Frederick was killed on 10th June 1916 – a fortnight before the battle of The Somme started. He was 37 years old. His death came at a time when it was considered that not much was happening but in fact Frederick was just one of 125000 British casualties in this ‘quiet’ period.

Frederick was laid to rest at the Sucrerie Military Cemetery near Colincamps, some ten miles from Albert. We visited this cemetery on October 26th 2003.


It is, of course, immaculately kept and features a sweet chestnut tree (and others) standing sentinel over the graves.


And here is  Fred’s grave.


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