THEOBALD, FREDERICK GEORGE
Regiment: Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) 1st Bn.
Date of death 26 August 1914
Captain Frederick George Theobald
Copyright IWM (HU 118976)
Frederick George Theobald was the son of Reverend Frederick Theobald M.A. who was Rector of Great and Little Wigborough from 1886.
Rev. Frederick Theobald had been Curate of Drayton Berks 1867-7, Vicar 1867-77, Vicar of Steventon, Berks 1878-86.
Frederick George Theobald was born Drayton 19 December 1875. He had younger brothers Alfred and Walter. His mother
was born Cambridge 1847 Jane Elizabeth Lestourgeon. Frederick George went to Harrow and then in 1899 qualified as a solicitor
and was reading for the Bar. However in 1890 he joined the Royal Lancaster Regiment, and served in the South African War.
He stayed in the regular army.
Frederick George went to the Front on 20 August 1914, and was killed in action on the morning of August 26th near Le Cateau during the retirement from Mons.
THE ANGLO - BOER WAR
"King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) served in the Anglo-Boer War during the period: December 1899 - May 1902. They were involved in Operations at Spion Kop, Vaal Krantz, Pieter's, Botha's Pass, Vryheid, Itala. They sustained the following casualties :- Casualties (officers): 11 Killed in Action, 0 Died of Disease, 9 wounded, 1 missing/prisoner Casualties (men): 128 Killed in Action, 40 Died of Disease, 249 wounded, 66 missing/prisoner.
He went out Dateline Tilbury, June 23rd 1900 the PINEMORE sailed this afternoon with 8 officers, 314 men and 354 remounts and among other things, 5 bales of comforts for the 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers. Listed were: Royal Lancaster Regiment - Lieutenant O C Borrett & 2nd Lieutenants L B Webster, F G Theobald, and F C Naper.
He returned to England in the MONTROSE, which left for England Dec 11 1902 with the following on passage home: 2nd Battalion Royal Lancaster - Lieutenant F G Theobald
London Gazette 26th February 1901 The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) the under mentioned 2nd Lieutenants to be Lieutenants to complete establishment Dated 13th February 1901; F. G. Theobald.
London Gazette 12 January 1909 The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) Captain Frederick G. Theobald is seconded for service on the Staff. Dated 17th December 1908"
The 1st Battalion of the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) in August 1914 was in Dover as part of 12th Brigade, 4th Division. The 4th was one of the first Divisions to move to France, arriving just in time to join the hard-pressed Divisions of II Corps at the Battle of Le Cateau. The 4th Division remained on the Western Front throughout the war.
"By nightfall of the 25 August 1914 the retreating II Corps was being closely pursued by the German 1st Army. I Corps was some way away to the east, and although the newly- arrived 4th Division was moving up alongside II Corps it was clear that the disorganised and greatly fatigued units faced a calamity the next day if the withdrawal was forced to continue. Corps Commander Horace Smith-Dorrien ordered II Corps to stand and fight. The units of the Corps were arranged in the open downs to the west of the small town of Le Cateau. For long hours during the morning of the 26th August, the British, notably the field artillery, held overwhelming numbers of the enemy at bay and inflicted severe loss. Miraculously, the Corps disengaged and withdrew towards the south during the afternoon. Smith-Dorrien's decision to turn II Corps around from retreat and to stand against the German advance at Le Cateau paid off handsomely. Serious losses were inflicted on the Germans and another delay imposed on their Paris timetable. The total British casualties amounted to 7,812 of all ranks, killed, wounded and missing. 38 guns were lost."
Frederick earned the following medals: Queen's medal for South Africa; King's medal for South Africa; Mons Star 1914;
1914-1920 War Medal; 1914-1919 Victory medal.
Frederick is commemorated on the War Memorial in Great Wigborough Parish Church
and at La Ferte-sous-Joarre memorial to Commonwealth War Dead, France
Stained glass window in Great Wigborough Church in Memory of Frederick George Theobald
Great Wigborough War Memorial
Original text from "If You Shed a Tear" by Ted Sparrow, Part 2.
17 July 2020 formatted for web by Tony Millatt
Added picture of F.G. Theobald, image of window in his memory, and more information on his background.
Edwin Sparrow obtained special dispensation from a number of agencies including the CWGC and The War Graves photographic project regarding
copyright on their material used in "If YOu Shed a Tear". The IWM granted a non commercial licence for their material used in the book, in view of the
nature of the book being commemorative rather than published for commercial reasons.