Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although Frederick Charles and all of his nine siblings were born in Portsmouth, his parents Charles and Elizabeth came from Ipswich and Devon respectively. Charles was born in 1869 and Elizabeth in 1867; they were married at Farnham in 1888 and Elizabeth's maiden name was Hellings.
There is no obvious reason why Charles and Elizabeth moved to Portsmouth shortly after their marriage as the former's occupation as a coachman does not suggest that the town would have offered any special attraction. Their first recorded address, at the 1891 census, was 3 Goodwood Road, Southsea but they must have initially lived in Landport as that was where their first child Albert Edward was born in 1890. The second, Lilian, was born a year later in Southsea, presumably at Goodwood Road.
More children followed at fairly regular intervals including their seventh child Frederick Charles. Some would have been born at Goodwood Road whilst the later arrivals were born at 6 Richmond Place, off Marmion Road, Southsea.
Little is known of Frederick's early life apart from his attendance at St Jude's School and Holy Spirit Church. He would have been 15 years of age when the Great War broke out and therefore ineligible for enlistment. When he did sign up for the army he joined the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) which actually left for France in June 1915 when Frederick was 16 which suggests he was allocated to this regiment to make up for battlefield losses. He died in action, possibly at Ancre in August 1918.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Private FC Rivers, (202756), Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), died on 11/08/1918. Buried in the Ville-Sur-Ancre Communal Cemetery Extension. Son of Charles William Rivers, of 82, Goodwood Rd., Albert Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Frederick Rivers is remembered on the WW1 Memorial Cross at St. Jude's Church, The Holy Spirit WW1 Plaque and the Cenotaph in Portsmouth. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
July 2014