Frederick Mutimer


Frederick William Mutimer was born in 1899 at Otley, a small village about 8 miles north of Ipswich. The 1891 census records that his father and mother, Henry and Lucy, ran a grocery and drapery shop in the village. Frederick had an elder brother Henry and a younger sister, Frances. The family also recorded a boarder, Beatrice Pittock who served in the shop and Agnes Baxter who was the family's domestic servant.

By 1911 Frederick had set up his own establishment in the Market Square, Bungay where he sold groceries, wines and spirits. His sister Frances is also listed as an occupant as is a servant, Gladys Mills. By 1911 Henry and Lucy had moved to Hoxne where Henry's personal occupation is listed as a sub-postmaster and the service he was connected with was the grocery and drapery business. Two of the children were still living with them, Henry (Junior) was recorded as a clerk and postman and Katie as a student.

Frederick William's army records are fragmentary. It is known that he enlisted in Bungay and that at the time of his death he was serving with "C" Batter, 235th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A). The R.F.A. operated medium calibre artillery pieces and howitzers in support of the Infantry, typically the guns would have been Quick Firing 18 Pounders of 4.5 Inch Howitzers.

The 235th Brigade (originally named the 5th London) was formed in 1908 as part of the First Territorial Force and served as the Divisional Artillery for the 47th (2nd London) Division, The Brigade landed in France on the 8th March 1915 and saw action is the majority of the major actions undertaken by the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) including its first major attack at Loos in September 1915. In 1916 the Brigade saw action at Vimy Ridge repulsing a German Attack and during the Somme Offensive between July and November 1916. In 1917, it took part in the Battle of Messines, the Third Battle of Ypres and the B.E.F. attack at Cambrai. 1918 saw the Brigade back on the Somme and involved in the advance into Artois.

Once the German Spring Offensive was played out the Allies took the initiative and counter attack with considerable success. Known as the 100 days offensive, the war became one of movement as the trench systems of the Western Front were left behind.

The 47th Division formed part of the advance on the Somme and took part in operations to take the German Green Line situated on high ground to the east of the notorious Happy Valley. The 235th War Diary does exist but the writing is very faded and hard to decipher so the details of the action in which Frederick died are unclear. However it appears that on the 2nd September, the battery in which Frederick served as gunner was supporting an attack by the London Irish on St Pierre Vaast Wood, an operation that was carried out successfully. It is recorded that the Brigade suffered casualties, most likely from German counter battery fire and Frederick was one of the casualties.

Frederick died on Monday 2nd September, he is buried at Hem Farm Cemetery, Hem-Monacu II. Row A. Grave 30. In addition to the Hoxne War Memorial Frederick is also commemorated on the Bungay War Memorial.