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Tracing Your Roots To Gallipoli

Remembering some of the Bolton men who lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915

Frederick Robert Bunce

Frederick Robert BunceFarnworth Weekly Journal 21 May 1915


Mrs. Bunce, 50 Georgiana-st., Farnworth, received word this morning that her husband, Lance-Corporal Fred Bunce, of the R.N.A.S.B.R., died on the 17th of May* from wounds received at the Dardanelles on the 11th. The deceased was about 30 years of age. He was a night foreman porter at Trinity-st. Station, Bolton, and before that for many years a porter at Farnworth Station. He was an attender at the Market-st. Wesleyan School, and his wife was connected with Holland's School. He had for years taken a great interest in ambulance work, at which he was very skilful, and was a member of the Bolton ambulance team which had been successful in competitions. When the war began he was one of the first to be drafted out by the St. St John Ambulance Association, and later found his way into the R.N.A.S.B.R. In his last letter home Lc-Corpl. Bunce said he was quite well and sent his wife and girl his love. He says: "Annie will be getting quite a big girl now. Give her a kiss from her daddie and tell her he hopes to be with you both very soon. A long love and may God bless you both and keep you and may I return safely to you both before long."

Farnworth Weekly Journal 28 May 1915


Lance-Corporal Fred. R. Bunce of 50 Georgiana-st., whose death with the Royal Marine Light Infantry at the Dardanelles we recorded last week, was a native of Leamington, and came to Farnworth some 16 years ago when he secured a situation as porter at Farnworth Station, and lived with Mr. W. Freeman. He went to Bolton when the erection of the new Trinity-st Station was begun, and has recently been night foreman porter there, varying the work in summers by serving the L. and Y. Railway as ticket collector at Blackpool. He was married about four years ago to Miss Martha Hall, who worked for Mr. W. Sumner, J.P., and was connected with Holland's School, and they had one child, a little girl. His own school was the Market-st Wesleyans, at which he used to be a very regular attender. He was a keen ambulance man, and took part with the railway team in several competitions, for success in which he holds certificates and a medal. When the war broke out he was attached to the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, but was transferred to the Royal Marine Light Infantry field ambulance. His duties brought him into the trenches during the siege of Antwerp, where he came under fire whilst conveying the wounded to hospital, but before that he had been at Chatham helping with the hospital train, as also at Ostend. Fifteen weeks ago he went to Egypt with the Plymouth Battalion, and it was from there that he found his way to the Dardanelles, where he was injured on May 11th, dying from his wounds on the 17th.* All who knew him regret the loss of one who was so useful and highly respected. The staff of Trinity-st Station met on Friday, under the chairmanship of the stationmaster, Mr. Firth, and passed a vote of condolence with the widow, whilst on Sunday the Rev. Bramwell Brown made appropriate reference to his loss from the pulpit of Wesley Chapel. On Sunday afternoon Mr. T. Lawton announced his demise from the platform of Wesley School and testified to the consistent life he had led, asking the scholars to remember his widow and child in their prayers, and the hymn "The Homeland" was sung. Lance-Corpl. Bunce has two brothers serving with the colours, one in France and the other in training in Leamington.

Frederick was the son of John William Bunce b.1851, a carrier, and Ann Bunce née Baldwin b.1856.

He first appeared on the 1891 Census living in the village of Nightcote, Burton Dassett, Warwickshire with his parents and brothers George H b.1888 and Alfred b1890.

By 1901 he was living at 38 Darley Grove, Farnworth with his uncle and aunt, William and Emily Freeman and their three daughters. He was employed as a railway porter.

Frederick married Martha Hall b.1884 at Farnworth Wesleyan Chapel, Egerton Street, Moses Gate in 1911.

In 1911 the couple were living at 50 Georgiana Street, Farnworth.

They had one daughter, Annie b.1912.

Frederick's service records list him as being 5' 11" tall with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

His name is on Farnworth War Memorial and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway War Memorial on Victoria Station, Manchester.

* Actually died on 14 May 1915 as per CWGC who also give his unit as Portsmouth Bn. RND.


Name Bunce, Frederick Robert
Rank Junior Reserve Attendant
Number M/9823
Unit Portsmouth Bn
Royal Naval Division,
Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve
Born Leamington Spa,Warwickshire
14 June 1884
Enlisted 9 August 1914
Died At sea
14 May 1915
Age 30
Grave or Memorial Cairo War Memorial Cemetery,
RN Sick Berth Attendant