Second Lieutenant Frederick Harold Pilsbury No. 4 Platoon, 'A' Company, 6th Battalion, West Riding Volunteers.
Frederick was born on 2nd February 1874 in Stoke upon Trent in Staffordshire and his birth was registered in the first quarter of the year. His parents were Richard and Ann Pilsbury. Father's occupation: Artist - flower painter on pottery. There were a number of pottery and ceramic manufacturers in this area.
In the 1881 census he was seven years of age and living on Regent Street in Stoke upon Trent, Staffordshire, with his parents, one sister and two brothers. He was a scholar, presumably at a local school.
He was 17 years old in the 1891 census and employed as a bank clerk and still living at home.
In 1901 he was 27 years old and living at Grosvenor Villa on Regent Street in Stoke upon Trent, Staffordshire, with his widowed mother, one sister and three brothers. His mother's occupation was that of a private schoolmistress, and Frederick was a bank cashier.
By 1911 little of his home life had changed and Frederick was 37 years old. He was still living at Regent Street in Stoke upon Trent in Staffordshire with his widowed mother and one sister. Mother was still a private schoolmistress and Frederick's occupation was recorded as a bank cashier for Lloyds Bank.
Later that year he married Elizabeth C. Roberts at Leek in Staffordshire.
At some point he moved to Keighley because four years later on January 1st 1915, just a few months after the outbreak of war, he joined the 6th Battalion West Riding Volunteers who were based at Keighley Drill Hall on Lawkholme Lane in Keighley. Frederick was working in Keighley as a bank cashier for Lloyds Bank and he joined the Volunteers because he was considered over-age for war service, being 41 years old at the time.
His record with the Keighley Volunteers gives his address as Waterfall in Riddlesden. He was married, with one son and one daughter. Height: 5 feet 6 inches. Chest 34 inches. Previous military training: six years with volunteers [probably not at Keighley]. Bank Manager with Lloyds Bank.
By July 1915 the Volunteers were in training at Stone Gappe Camp in Lothersdale and Frederick was a Second Lieutenant with No. 4 Platoon, 'A' Company of 6th Battalion, West Riding Volunteers. Frederick must have had a certain bearing as an officer and he was certainly an efficient soldier because his platoon won the proficiency shield in 1916.
His platoon jointly won the proficiency shield in 1916 for 'Best drilled platoon in the battalion'. They held a complimentary celebration dinner in Frederick's honour at the Victoria Hotel on Cavendish Street on 21st October of that year.
Complimentary Dinner at The Victoria Hotel in Keighley:
Boiled cod with parsley sauce.
Roast pork with stuffing.
Cabbage, Mashed swedes and potatoes.
Lemon pudding with wine sauce.
Cheese and biscuits.
Chairman Private (Rev.) G. E. Wannop.
Toast: "The King" The Chairman.
Song: "Song of the Waggoner" Private J. L. Midgley.
Song: "Bianca" Private A. Ramsden.
Toast: "6th West Riding Vols" Proposed by Company Commander A. Sellars.
Song: "The Red Brassard" Private J. L. Midgley.
Response: "6th West Riding Vols" Captain W. Roper (Commandant).
Song: "The Nipper's Lullaby" Private C. B. Hird.
Recital: Selected. Company Sergeant Major J. T. Pollard.
Toast: Our guest: Proposed by Private R. Calverley.
Song: "Love's garden of roses" Private A. Ramsden.
Response: "Our guest" Platoon Commander F. H. Pilsbury.
Song: "An awful little scrub" Private C. B. Hird.
Song: Selected. Mr Fred Stowell.
Toast: "The Visitors" Proposed by Private Walter Smith.
Song: Selected. Private A. Ramsden.
Response: "The Visitors" Adjutant E. Clayton, Battery Sergeant Major J. Elliott and Company Sergeant Major J. T. Pollard.
Song: "Three for Jack" Pte J. L. Midgley.
Song: Selected. Private C. B. Hird.
Toast: "The Artistes" Proposed by Private Uel Stowell.
"God Save The King"
Printed by Keighley Printers Limited.
Keighley News dated October 28, 1916, Page 6:
VOLUNTEERS' SUCCESS COMMEMORATED.
On Saturday last the members of No. 4 Platoon A Company, 6th West Riding Volunteers, entertained their officer, Platoon Commander Pilsbury, to dinner at the Victoria Hotel, in honour of their jointly winning the shield put up for competition by Commandant W. Roper. After dinner a capital programme of songs &c. was carried out by Privates A. Ramsden, C. B. Hird, J. L. Midgley, Company Sergeant-Major Pollard and Mr Fred Stowell. The toasts included "6th West Riding Volunteers," proposed by Private R. Calverley, was received with acclamation, and responded to by Mr Pilsbury, who said he felt proud at having such a lot of men under his command: "The Visitors" was proposed by Private Walter Smith, and acknowledged by Adjutant Clayton, Battalion Sergeant-Major Elliott, and Company Sergeant-Major Pollard; and Private Stowell submitted the toast of "The Artists" Private (Rev.) C. E. Wannopp was a very genial chairman.
In September 1939 Frederick and his wife and daughter Margaret were recorded in the national register for World War Two. They were living at Ringwood in Hampshire where he was still a bank manager (rota) at the age of 65 so he must have been of pensionable age and he may have stayed on if younger staff were enlisting for the war. Margaret had recently volunteered for the newly formed Women's Auxiliary Air Force.
Frederick died on 22nd December 1954 at the age of 80 and his death was registered in Plymouth. He left £2300.00 to his son Richard Pilsbury, an accountant.
Birth, Marriage and Death records
Keighley Volunteers 1914 to 1916 - Keighley Family History Publishing - Copyright 1997
Keighley Library - Archive box BK34/1 - West Riding Volunteers Adjutant's Album of photographs.
Keighley News Archives held at Keighley Library.
National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995