16th January 1897 - 23rd April 1917 (age 20)
1st/9th Bn. Durham Light Infantry
The following item appeared in the Yorkshire Gazette on 9th June 1917:
News has been received that Pte. Frederick Ayre (21), of Sowerby, Thirsk was killed in action in France on 23 April. He was reported as having been discharged from the Base depot on 13 April fit to rejoin his unit for duty, and was killed ten days after that date. He was a territorial and went to France early in the war, being home wounded and returning in January of this year. He formerly worked on the N.E.R. at Darlington.
It is believed that this is the same Frederick Ayre as the one born on 16th January 1897 and baptised at St.Oswald's on 21st February 1897, although he would have been age 20 and not 21 as shown in the news item above. Frederick was the son of William Ayre, farm labourer and Catherine. He was the cousin of Harry Wardman who died of wounds in 1916.
Frederick enlisted at Darlington and went overseas on 10th July 1915. On 23rd April 1917 his battalion was in action along the Cojeul River near Arras and achieved their objective after overcoming a machine gun attack from north of the river. They captured over 200 of the enemy but suffered the following casualties which were described as slight:
20 killed, 92 wounded & missing.
Frederick's grave can be found at Wancourt British Cemetery, plot 1V.A.33, France. Plot 1V was from concentration of graves from small cemeteries and isolated positions on the battlefields south-east of Arras.
Frederick Ayre's photograph copied from Thirsk Royal British Legion display case
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about Frederick Ayre on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about Frederick Ayre on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website