The Men from Hyde – Frederick Chapman Tyler

Frederick Chapman Tyler was born in Winchester in the last quarter of 1891. Sadly, the next year records the death of his father Frederick Chapman Tyler aged 35 years and in the second year of his marriage.

In the census of 1901 Frederick is 1 year old and living with his mother, Leonora, his brother Henry Tyler aged 4 years, and sister, Ruby Tyler aged 2 years. There is no mention of older brother William and all children were born after the death of their father. They are living at Duke Street Micheldever with Leonora’s brother, Henry Taylor, his wife, Mary Ann and their 4 children aged between 5 and 15 years. Leonora is described as married 5 years and from Wonston but her husband has died . The children had been born in different locations – Henry at Allbrook, Ruby at Woburn Green, Bucks and Frederick at Burnham, Bucks. As Fred is registered in Winchester we can assume the family had moved here from Bucks directly after his birth.

In the census of 1911 he is living with his brother in the household of Walter and Mary Smith at 16, King Alfred Place. Both Frederick and his elder brother by two years, William, are the stepsons of Walter. Of Mum, Leonora there is no trace but perhaps Aunt Mary had found a new husband. Two girls have been born to the marriage which is now 14 years old – Ethel aged 14 years and Edith aged 12 years. Both the young Tyler brothers have endured a great deal by this stage in their lives.  They are both single and both are boot repairers. There are 5 rooms in the house so sharing a small bedroom was a necessity.

Frederick was an active member of the community, belonging to Hyde Men’s Club and The ‘Loyal Arthur’ Lodge of Oddfellows.

Frederick enlisted with the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He served on The Western Front where he received life-threatening injuries to his head and thigh, probably from a mortar attack, near the Somme   in April or May. Frederick was one of the many thousands of soldiers who were shipped back in pain to Southampton. He died aged 26 years at the Canadian Military Hospital, Beachborough Park, Southampton where he received treatment.

His army record states that he died 13th June 2017 of wounds. His ‘theatre of war’ is noted as ‘home’ in his army record, but the Regimental Journal records him as serving in France. By his death at 26 years, he had achieved the rank of Lance Corporal in the 15th (Service) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. His service number was 27011.

His funeral was at St Bartholomew’s on Sunday June 17th 1917. The Regimental History records that a large congregation attended. He is described as a son of Mrs Smeeth of 16 King Alfred Place who attended the funeral with Miss Edie Smeeth, Fredericks’s sister, Miss May Smith and Miss Mettyear. Also several members of Hyde Men’s Club attended and the secretary of the Oddfellows with officers NCO’s and men of the Hants Depot. We can picture the scene described ‘The hymn O God Our Help In Ages Past was sung, and the organist played Chopin’s Marche Funebre. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and six privates of the Hants Regiment, in charge of a sergeant, acted as bearers’. Wreaths had been sent from fellow members of Hyde Catechism, members of Hyde Men’s Club and old schoolmates and neighbours’. Frederick is buried at West Hill Cemetery.

Frederick was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals.

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