Regiment: Royal Berkshire Regiment
Rank and number: Corporal 43563
Parents: James and Emma Addis
Home address: Greengates, Olveston, Bristol
Date of birth: 1888
Place of birth: Alveston, Bristol
Date of death: 05/04/1918
Buried/Commemorated at: Pozières Memorial (Panel 56 and 57), Somme, France
Since 1561 the Addis family has lived in Olveston and in the latter part of the nineteenth century James and Emma Addis brought up their four children, James, Frances, Fred and Percival at Greengates. Their father, James was a carpenter and pattern maker at Cattybrook Brick Works and also the Registrar for the parish of Olveston and on Sundays organist at Elberton church. One of his sombre tasks during the war, for those families in the parish who were unable to read, was to communicate the War Office telegrams regarding the reports of ‘Missing in Action’ or ‘Killed in Action’.
Frederick enlisted at Bristol in the Gloucestershire Regiment but was subsequently transferred to the 1st and then to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. In the first week of March 1918, as a Corporal, he left for France from the Maidstone area and was attached to the 12th Division's Signal School for training. He and the rest of the Battalion quickly moved on up to the front. On the 5th of April they were at Bouzincourt north-west of Albert in the area of the Somme in an effort to counter the great German offensive, known as the Kaiserschlacht, which had started on March 21st. The Battalion was attacked with a severe artillery barrage at 0700 hours. By 0930 they were overrun and the enemy occupied 600 yards of what had been the British front line, but most of the lost ground was later recovered. It is believed that Frederick was Killed in Action in the opening barrage and as the two armies fought where he had fallen it was only possible to report him as missing in action.
Contemporary reports by others in his battalion talk of “We were holding the line between Albert and Bouzincourt and the Germans were trying to break through. They got into our trench and the fighting was very bitter. Two of our officers were seen fighting the Germans hand-to-hand. The enemy captured the trench. We retired along it but owing to machine gun fire, could not get across the top”. Another stated “On April 5th just before we got to Albert, the Germans came upon us and overwhelmed us. The dead and wounded had to be left behind as the enemy was pressing us hard”.
Brother Percy was commissioned and returned from the Great War. Frederick Addis, aged 30, is remembered at Pozières with over 14,000 other men on the Memorial located beside the road north-east of Albert.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
Forces War Records and CWGC