Charles Freestone

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Dorking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom

General information

Steward - Merchant Navy

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
 —  King's (Liverpool Regiment), 17th Bn. (1st City)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Clapham Junction, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal
Medal — 21/05/1920
Victory Medal
Medal — 21/05/1920

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Charles Freestone served in the King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Bn. (1st City), part of the 89th Brigade, of the 30th Division. On the 31st of July 1917 the Division participated in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the opening stage of the Third Battle of Ypres. It attacked at 3.50 a.m., zero hour, with the 90th and 21st Brigade. The 89th Brigade was in support. The 30th Division advanced from their assembly positions just East of Maple Copse and had to move through Sanctuary Wood towards the hamlet of Veldhoek, South of Polygon Wood.
As planned the 89th Brigade advanced in support of the 21st and 90th Brigade, with the 20th King’s Liverpool Regiment on the right and the 17th on the left. The two Battalions were to capture and consolidate the final objective; the Green line at Veldhoek. After being shelled at their assembly positions at Maple Copse, the 20th and 17th King’s started to move forward at 7.50 a.m., all the while under heavy German shell fire. On approaching the frontline, it became apparent that the attack of the 21st and the 90th Brigade had been halted. They were unable to advance any further and a line was consolidated East of Stirling Castle. Each movement in the frontline was quickly silenced by persistent shelling and German machineguns.
The 17th and 19th King’s consequently reinforced the frontline. The 17th Battalion even pushed on a little more till their left flank rested on Clapham Junction and dug in. The Battalion held this position in spite of very heavy shelling from German field guns and Howitzers. During this shelling the Battalion lost two officers and 35 men. Another two officers and 120 other ranks were wounded.
The 17th king’s remained in position between Stirling Castle and Clapham Junction till they were relieved on the night of the 3rd and 4th of August. From the 1st of August till their relieve the Battalion suffered another 105 casualties, due to German shelling. One officer and seventeen other ranks got killed, one officer and 74 other ranks were wounded and twelve men went missing.
Private Charles Freestone was killed in action on the 4th of August 1917. He was possibly killed in the line, due to the relentless shelling on the Battalion’s position between Clapham Junction and Stirling Castle. His remains were not found or were never identified and he is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Files 2

Sources 6

"The History of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-1919", Wyrall E., London, Edward Arnold & co., 1935, pg. 495-497.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 22-23.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary King's (Liverpool Regiment), 17th Bn.
Further reference