Captain Frederic William Cheere Stileman

Date of Birth 13 August 1886
Age at Death 29
Date of Death 23 July 1916
Service Number
Military Service 8 Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
Merton Address 9, Sunnyside House, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Wimbledon Parish Church

Additional Information

Born in Merton on 13 August 1886, Frederic was the son of solicitor Arthur Stileman and his wife Edith (nee Cheere). The couple also had six other children and all seven offspring were baptised with the combined parental surname. The family later moved to 2 Lansdowne Road, Wimbledon.

Frederic was a boarder at Haileybury School, Hertfordshire. His father was born in India and Haileybury had been founded by the East India Company as an imperial school. After completing his education, Frederic followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a legal career. At the time of his enlistment in the army, he was an articled clerk.

Frederic originally enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company in September 1914. However having been in the Officers Training Corps at Haileybury, he was offered a commission as Captain in the 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment on 11 December.

The Battalion was part of the 19th ( Western ) Division and after training near Tidworth, it was sent to France in July 1915. The men saw action in the Somme region throughout 1916; capturing La Boisselle on 4 July during the battle of Albert. 29 year old Frederic was reported missing soon afterwards. His parents made every effort to determine what had happened to him. Frederic had been fighting alongside American troops at the time of his disappearance. When the War Office could give them no further information, the Stilemans contacted the U.S. embassy and later the Red Cross, which acted as a conduit for information about Prisoners of War.

Arthur Stilemen was eventually contacted by Private Noble, a member of Frederic’s battalion, who had been interned at Friedrichsfeld P.O.W camp. He confirmed that Frederic had been killed in action on 26 July 1915. More details were supplied by one of Frederic’s friends, 2nd Lieutenant Baker, who told Arthur that his son had actually been killed by a shell on 23 July.
Frederic’s body was never identified.

He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial and his name also appears on a monumental inscription at Wimbledon Parish Church.


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