Date of Death:28/10/1916
Regiment:The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
Unit: 4th Bn
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: Pier and Face 8B
Fred lived at 135 High Barn Street (next door to Alfred Bardsley), the son of Ernest & Betty. He had four younger sisters - Alice,Annie,Clare & Elsie. Before joining up in February 1916 he was a minder at the Fir Mill. He went on active service towards the end of August and was dead two months later. Before he joined up with the battalion, Harry Swain had already been killed whilst serving with them.
This online memorial to Stafford Thomas Eaton-Jones describes what happened to Fred and the comrades who fell alongside him:
On the 22nd of October 1916 the 4th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment arrived at the village of Meaulte where they received orders to move to the Les Boeufs sector of the front line on the Somme. At 8am on the morning of the following day they set out across the old battlefield , through heavy mist, for Trones Wood. It was not until 8pm that evening that they arrived at the remains of the wood where there was no shelter. Here they waited, in heavy rain and appalling conditions until the morning of the 24th when two companies moved off for the trenches at Les Boeufs at 1pm. The two other companies marched off to join them at 3.30pm and, due to the conditions, the relief was not complete until 5am on the morning of the 25th.The battalion remained in the front line under shell fire suffering casualties until orders came through on the 27th for the battalion to make an attack the following day. Their objective was the German trench "Dewdrop trenches and the enemy trenches and dug outs to the north east of "Dewdrop" which were to be cleared. They would be joined by the 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, who would attack and clear "Rainy" trench, with the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in support.
At 6am on the morning of the 28th of October 1916 the A and C Companies of the battalion, preceded by a barrage, moved across no man's land in four waves. By 10am reports came back that "Dewdrop" trench had been taken and the enemy trench and dug outs beyond had been bombed and cleared. By 5pm the Middlesex had taken "Rainy" trench and both battalions had consolidated their gains.
Eyewitness reports said that Stafford Eaton-Jones was last seen close to the firing line and that he was subsequently seen being carried away on a stretcher having been badly wounded. A further statement said that Eaton-Jones and the stretcher party carrying him were hit by a shell killing them all and leaving no trace of them.
Casualties for the attack had been four officers and fourteen other ranks killed with two officers and sixty three other ranks wounded and fourteen other ranks missing believed killed.
The CWGC has the following men from the 4th Battalion being killed in action that day:
Private Harry Atkinson,35497,born Bradford,lived Manchester
Private Edward Beattie,29878,Liverpool
Private Fred Burton,51505,Garston,Liverpool
Private John Dickinson Cooper,22 years old,44893,Tarporley,Cheshire
Serjeant Thomas Davidson,21 years old,13224,Perth
Private David Davies,30432,born Carmarthenshire,lived Wigan
Private William F Dykes,14940,Walton,Liverpool
Second Lieutenant Stafford Thomas Eaton-Jones,20 years old,Walton,Liverpool
Private Charles Elliott,19023,Manchester
Private Joseph Fletcher,21 years old,8678,Runcorn
Private Patrick Franklin,34741,born Waterford,lived Liverpool
Private Daniel Graham,30 years old,12191,Kirkdale,Liverpool
Lance Corporal Frank Eversley Halstead,19 years old,Blackpool
Private Robert Higgins,30404,Liverpool
Corporal Charles Holliday,31479,Bootle
Private Herbert Douglas Kelly,21 years old,48512,Liverpool
Private Samuel Lewis,8666,Liverpool
Second Lieutenant Ronald Hamilton William Murdoch
Private Herbert Musgreave,30 years old,30529,Barnsley
Private John Joseph Power,32 years old,Liverpool
Serjeant Albert Skelton,MM,12434,Liverpool
Private William Tedcastle,24 years old,12485,Liverpool
Private William Thomas,39105,Liverpool
Lance Corporal Frank Wilkinson,9020,Liverpool