Craftsman Fred Hobson

Craftsman Fred Hobson, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Artillery. Service Number: 251451

Fred's photograph from the Keighley News

Fred Hobson was born in Barnsley on 13th August 1920. He was one of ten children and he lived at 11, Birch Grove, Ingrow with his parents William and Annie (née Wood.) Fred was employed as a drawing overlooker (woollen) by Robert Clough at Grove Mills, Ingrow. Before this he had been educated at Ingrow Council School. He married Elsie Catton in 1942.

War service:
During the Second World War he trained as a Craftsman with the Royal Engineers and was serving with the Royal Artillery. He had been carrying out carburettor repairs to a motorbike and was test riding it on the road, when he was in collision with a lorry. Fred received multiple injuries and died the next day 7th July 1943 at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Fred was buried with full military honours at St John's Church Ingrow.

Keighley News 17th July 1943:
SOLDIER'S DEATH. Ingrow Man Fatally Injured In Kent.

The tragic death of a young Keighley man, Craftsman Frederick Hobson (22), of 11, Birch Grove, Ingrow, while serving with the Royal Artillery in Kent, was the subject of an inquest held by the Canterbury Coroner (Mr. C. A. Gardner), at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital yesterday (Friday) week.
Hobson was testing a motor cycle on 6 July when he was involved in a collision with a lorry and received multiple injuries from which he died in the hospital the following day.
An officer said Hobson was investigating the petrol consumption and carburretor mechanism. He had a good record, was an expert rider, and had had no previous accidents.
Trooper D. Grundy, R.A.C., a passenger in a lorry, said he noticed a motor-cyclist approaching about a 100 yards away. As they closed, the driver braked and the lorry skidded. Just before the impact the driver pulled to the right. Deceased came to the left of the lorry and struck near where witness was sitting. When about 30 yards away deceased appeared to wobble.
The Coroner said that deceased was on the wrong side of the road and going at such a pace that he was not able to get into the right side of the road when faced by the lorry. He was convinced that the accident was caused by the deceased and recorded a verdict of "Death by Misadventure."
Craftsman Hobson was employed at Robert Cloughs Ltd., Grove Mills, Ingrow, before joining up. He was educated at Ingrow Council School. He was buried with full military honours at St. John's Church, Ingrow.

His headstone reads:
'Treasured memories of a dearly loved husband Fred Hobson, late R.E.M.E.  R.A.
Killed in his country's service, July 7th, 1943, in his 23rd year.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him.'

His wife Elsie remarried in 1946.

Information sources:
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
1939 England and Wales Register
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
INGROW (ST. JOHN) CHURCHYARD grave 212. Grave photograph by Andy Wade.

Some of the information has come from the Keighley News and the account of Fred's accident and death is held in 'The Keighley War Scrapbook' in the Local Studies Library. We are grateful to Keighley library for allowing us access to this important resource.

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