Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The censuses show no trace of the Abrams family living in England before 1891, when Frederick George Leonard's father William J. Abrams (b. 1860, Ireland) is listed as a general labourer living at 26 Raglan Street with Caroline (b. 1864, Portsea) his wife and four children, William (b. 1886, Portsea), Caroline (b. 1887, Ireland), Harold (b. 1889, Portsea) and Frederick (b. 1891, Portsea).
10 years later the family had moved to 8 Park Road, William has become a mortuary attendant, and four more children have arrived - Ethel (b. 1893), Eva (b. 1894), Albert (b. 1898) and Nellie (b. 1890). All four were born in Portsmouth. William and Caroline and most of their children are absent from the census records for 1911 in Britain.
Little more is known about Frederick except that he enlisted in the army several years before the outbreak of World War 1 as the 1911 Census shows him to be aged 22 and living at Gravesend Barracks. His regiment is unclear but he may have been with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and if so he would have spent part of 1914 in Hong Kong with them before returning in November 1914 and being sent to France on 19th December that same year. Although the circumstances surrounding the death of Frederick Abrams is unknown, it almost certainly happened during the Second Battle of Ypres which began on 22nd April.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Lance Corporal Frederick George Leonard Abrams (9504), 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, died on 23/04/1915, aged 25 years. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial.
Frederick Abrams is also remembered on the St. George's Church WW1 memorial and the Cenotaph (where he's listed on the first Navy Panel alongside his brother Harold James Abrams). His name does not appear in the National Roll, Section X.
Tim Backhouse
December 2013