Main CPGW Record
Place of Birth: Hawes, Yorkshire
Service No: 1856
Regiment / Corps / Service: Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Battalion / Unit: 147th Machine Gun Coy
Division: 49th (West Riding) Division
Date of Death: 1916-07-25
CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: VIII. C. 6.
CWGC Cemetery: LONSDALE CEMETERY, AUTHUILLE
CWGC Memorial: ---
Non-CWGC Burial: ---
Local War Memorial: SKIPTON, YORKSHIRE
Fred Stork was the son of Frank and Margaret Ann Stork, née Knowles. Frank was born at Pickering and Margaret at Bell Busk, Yorkshire. Fred was the cousin of Drummer John Stork (266307) (q.v.).
1901 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 11, Russell Street - Fred Stork, aged 7 years, born Hawes, Yorkshire, son of Frank and Margaret A.Stork.
1911 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 11, Russell Street, Middletown - Fred Stork, aged 17 years, born Hawes, Yorkshire, son of Frank and Margaret Ann Stork.
The British Army Service Record for Fred Stork exists but may be incomplete. The record states that Fred was killed in action whilst serving with the 147th Machine Gun Company.
Page 20 of Craven's Part in the Great War book states that Fred Stork was transferred from the 1/6th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) to the Brigade Machine Gun Coy.
British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Sgt Fred Stork, 1856, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: 1 - France. Date of entry therein : 14.4.15. K. in A. 25.7.16.
British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Sgt Fred Stork, 6/1856, 1/6 W. Rid. R. K. in A. 25.7.16.
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Sgt Fred Stork, 1856, 1/6th Bn W. Riding. Date and Place of Death: 25.7.16. In Action. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Father - Frank. £26 15s. 3d.
See also: ‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War – A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).
Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entryView Entry in CPGW Book
Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:
STORK, Sgt. Fred, aged 23, Duke of Wellington’s, son of Mr. Frank Stork, 11, Russell Street, [Skipton], killed in action, France, July 25, 1916.
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Sergeant Fred STORK
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division
Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records
Born: Hawes, Yorks
Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Battalion: 1/6th Battalion
Died Date: 25/07/16
Died How: Killed in action
Theatre of War: France & Flanders
CWGC Data for Soldier Records
Country of Service: United Kingdom
Service Number: 6/1856
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Unit: "A" Coy. 1st/6th Bn.
Died Date: 25/07/1916
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stork, of 10, Rowland St., Skipton, Yorks. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: EVER REMEMBERED)
View Craven Herald Articles
01 October 1915
CRAVEN AND THE WAR
Writing to his parents at the end of last week, Corporal Fred Stork, of the 6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, stated that his brother, Private Myles Stork, of the same battalion, had had two fingers and a thumb of his left hand blown off by a fragment of shell (the one, we presume, which inflicted Private Peacock’s wound). Private Stork is now in Lord Derby’s Hospital at Warrington.
The unfortunate young fellow, who was nineteen years of age, was, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, in the employ of Messrs. Midgley and Co., of the Embsay Mill. He enlisted shortly after the war’s commencement.
01 October 1915
CRAVEN AND THE WAR
News was received in the early part of the week that Private John Peacock, of the 6th West Ridings (son of Mr. E. Peacock, 7, Neville Street), Skipton, had been wounded ‘somewhere in France.’ Information respecting the unfortunate occurrence came from Corporal F. Stork, of the same regiment, who stated in a letter written on September 24th:–
“Just a few lines hoping to find you in the best of health. I am extremely sorry to have to inform you that John has been wounded in the face–just below his eye–by a bursting bomb, and is in hospital.
I do not think it is very serious, but I thought I would let you know in case he did not write for a little while. I daresay you will hear from him soon, and I hope the news he sends will be good. My brother was injured by the same bomb, and they are in hospital together. They were both very plucky when it happened. They did not seem to feel the pain very much. Your son was a good and willing soldier, and we are all extremely sorry to lose him. We all desire to express to you our sympathy.–Yours sincerely, F. Stork, Corporal.”
26 November 1915
Among those on leave in Skipton just at present are Sergt. F. Stork, Machine Gun Section 1/6 Duke of Wellington’s, and his brother, Pte. M. Stork, of the same Battalion. The latter was wounded some time ago and has been receiving treatment in an English hospital.
26 November 1915
THE LATE PRIVATE R. H. OLDFIELD – COMRADES’ TRIBUTE
The parents of Pte. Richard Henry Oldfield, 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, whose death was reported in our last issue, have received the following letter from Sergt. F. Stork of the Machine Gun Section, to which the deceased was attached:–
“Dear Mrs. Oldfield, – “This letter is from the Machine Gun Section to which Dick was attached. We write to try and express our deepest sympathy with you because of the loss of Dick.
“Knowing well the splendid character of your son, we can in some measure understand how great his loss must be felt at home. Dick was a pattern of an Englishman, and an example of what a man doing his share for his country should be.
“He was always cheerful under any circumstances, and ready to do more than his share of work. Whilst among us he lived his life in a clear and manly way, full of spirit and void of fear, and he leaves us with a feeling of pride in having known him and had him for a comrade. I will close by expressing the deepest sympathy of the section on whose behalf I write.”
14 January 1916
THE LATE PRIVATE FURNESS – Comrades Tribute
Mr. and Mrs. John Furness of Brougham Street, Skipton, have received the following letter of condolence on the death of their son, Pte. F.P. Furness, First-sixth Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, who was killed in action in the latter part of December:–
France, Jan 1st, 1916
“Just a few lines on behalf of the gun section to express our sympathy with you in your sorrow. Fred and Lance-Corpl. Willan were in charge of two guns next to each other and they were both rather badly gassed as they were very near to the German line, and did not get much warning. Fred was an excellent gunner and for the last few months was in charge of a gun and was generally with me in the trenches. He always did his duty cheerfully and well, and we cannot express how sorry we are to lose him. He is one of the many victims of Hun Kulture, but we shall avenge them all if we get the chance again. Fred did his duty till the danger of attack was over and stuck to his gun until carried away to hospital, and it may comfort you to know he died a hero. He was a fine fellow, always ready for anything that turned up. Hoping you will be comforted a little by the section’s sympathy and my own,
"I remain, yours sincerely, FRED STORK, SERGT.”
04 August 1916
STORK – July 25th, 1916, killed in action in France, Sergt. F. Stork, 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, son of Mr. F. Stork, 11, Russell Street, Skipton, aged 23 years.
04 August 1916
SKIPTON’S PART IN THE GREAT ADVANCE – MORE LOCAL MEN KILLED AND WOUNDED
It is evident from letters recently received from local men that many soldiers from Skipton are in the thick of the continued fighting in the region of the Somme, and so doing their part valiantly in the process of ‘giving the enemy no rest’ which we believe is at last awakening German apprehension to the reality and power of the British offensive. Last week-end brought further sad news for four local families, to all of whom the sympathy of Skipton people will go out. News of the death of Lieut. Henry Brian Fisher was received on Friday morning, and on Saturday word came that Pte. Thos. Cartman had died from wounds received more than a week previously. Then on Sunday letters were received stating that Sergt. Fred Stork and Corporal Ernest Cowgill had been killed in a dug-out and that Pte. G. Roy Windle had been seriously wounded in the same dug-out. Sergt. Stork, Corp. Cowgill and Pte. Cartman were old pupils of Mr. Alfred Hartley, at the Skipton Parish Church School.
04 August 1916
"ONE OF THE BRAVEST" – Generous Tributes to the Memory of Sergt. Stork
In letters received by the families of Sergt. Stork and Corporal Ernest Cowgill, of the 1/6th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, it appears that on Tuesday, July 25th, these two men, along with their pal, Pte. Roy Windle, were in a dugout in the front line when an enemy shell burst near them, killing Sergt. Stork and Corporal Cowgill and seriously wounding Pte. Windle, who was removed to hospital.
Sergt. Fred Stork was the son of Mr. Frank Stork; of 31, Russell Street, Skipton, and in civil life was a weaver at Messrs. Smith Hartley’s, Union Mill, Skipton. Twenty-three years of age, he was a young man of exceptional promise, and as the following letters will show, had endeared himself to both the officers and men of the Skipton Territorials, with which he had been for over three years.
In a letter to deceased’s father, Capt. W. J. M. Sproulin says:– “During a bombardment of our line yesterday afternoon he (Sergt. Stork) went round to one of the guns in the front line, and while in a dugout sheltering, a shell burst into it and killed him instantly, together with the other occupants of the dugout. His death is a very great loss to me and the remainder of the company. He was an extremely willing and gallant soldier, and had been under me since September 1913. I sincerely trust that the knowledge that he died bravely doing his duty for King and Country will be some consolation in your great bereavement.”
Lieut. Ralph M. Robinson has written as follows:– “I must write and tell you how very deeply I sympathise with you in your great sorrow. I also want you to know what a real personal loss your son’s death is to myself. In all the months we have soldiered together I never remember having had a single difference with him. He was one of the bravest, most hardworking, and most unselfish fellows I have ever met: his work in the trenches has been wonderful all through, and we shall miss him very badly. You will be glad to hear that he suffered no pain. He and his friend, Ernest Cowgill, were killed instantaneously by one shell during a bombardment yesterday. Roy Windle, who was with them, got a nasty wound, but the doctor thinks well of his chances. Mr. Shipman, of Long Preston, took the funeral this morning. All the machine gun corps officer were present, as well as several of us from the West Ridings. He was buried in a beautiful little valley between two woods with a river at the bottom, between rows of poplar trees. I know how deeply your sorrow must be at the loss of your son, but at the same time if you only knew what both the officers and men thought about him you would be the proudest father in Craven.”
A letter from Lieut. J Hunter Ward contains the following passages:– “I have no words in which to tell you how much he was valued, not only in the company, but by all the old members of the 6th Battalion. I never remember a case where more enquiries were made as to whether the news was correct or not, nor more regret expressed when the sad news was verified. During this present operation he and I worked together all the time under conditions which show men in their true colours. He was entirely fearless and fearfully keen on any possible chance of getting a gun into action and hitting the Germans. His cheerfulness in the trenches was part of his sterling qualities as a non-commissioned officer; I loved him as a brother. It is only about ten days that I wrote home telling my people it my great good fortune in having such a fearless and hardworking friend. I am sure that I can say but little to ease the pain you feel by his death, but I would like to say in conclusion that should it be fate to be killed in this campaign I could wish that I might die as your son with my face to the enemy and fearing nothing.”
Mr. Stork has also received letters from Rev. B. Shipman, Chaplain, and Corporal A. Gough, a Skipton soldier. The former says:– “It is indeed a sad affair that I have to deliver to you the news that we buried your son this morning close to the front line. A cross will shortly be placed on his grave. I had the privilege of knowing him; and was especially interested in him because I knew his uncle well – Fred Stork of Long Preston. It may help you to know that your son was very popular and was a very good soldier. His captain has said there was non better and he was a very good son. May God help and strengthen you to meet this cruel blow.”
Corporal Gough writes:– “Our section and myself will miss him very much, as he was well liked by all the lads and by all who knew him.”
04 August 1916
THE LATE CORPORAL E. C. BRIGGS
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant A C. Briggs of 22, Ermysted Street, Skipton, has received several letters of sympathy in connection with the death of his son, Corporal E. C. Briggs, of the 1/6th West Riding Regiment which was reported in our columns of July 14th last.
Lieutenant J. Hunter Ward writes:– “I should like to let you know how much I appreciated your son. I have only recently taken charge of the section belonging to the 6th Battalion, but one need not be working long with men like your son to find their true worth. He was always ready to do everything that was asked of him, and kept cheerful and also kept the men about him cheerful – even in the most depressing circumstances. He was wounded on the morning of the 3rd July, and was properly buried in a quiet little valley, his grave being marked and a record kept of the place.
From a letter written by Lieutenant Ralph M. Robinson we take the following:– “I do want you to know how grieved I was to hear of your son’s death and how deeply I sympathise with you and your family in your great loss. He was, I think, the first man I recommended for promotion after I took over the command of our old Machine Gun Section eighteen months’ ago, and I never met a more trustworthy and reliable non-commissioned officer. I have constantly seen your son lately, and he was looking very well and cheerful a few days before his death. I was just in front of him when the shell came, and fragments of it wounded our doctor and several of the Keighley Company.”
Sergeant Fred Stork, whose death in action is reported in our columns this week, was a great pal of Corporal Briggs, and he has written a touching letter to Mrs. Briggs, in which the following occurs:– “I am trying for the section to send you an expression of our sympathy. We have not been quite able to realise that he as gone, although we miss him at every turn. He was just as good a soldier as he was a son, and in saying this I can pay him no warmer tribute. He possessed a very steady nerve and cool head, which made him a very valuable soldier. He lived a straight and manly life and never knew the meaning of fear, and as he lived so he died – calm and peaceful. His sterling qualities always stood out as an example to the men, and in losing him we have lost an N.C.O who we can never replace. It is very difficult to try and put sympathy into words, but I hope that in these few lines you will find comfort and be always remembering that it was God who gave and God who has taken away. Ted and I were like brothers, and I can understand a little of how you feel.”
27 July 1917
STORK – In ever loving memory of Sergeant Fred Stork, who was killed in action on July 25th, 1916.
From Father, Sister and Brothers.
30 July 1920
COWGILL and STORK – In loving memory of our dear chums, Cpl. E. Cowgill and Sergt. F. Stork (Skipton), of the M.G.C., killed in action in France, July 20th, 1916.
Years may wipe out many things,
But this they wipe out never;
Memories of the good old times
When we were chums together.
From Charlie, Jimmie, Dick, Arthur and Billy (Skipton).
View West Yorkshire Pioneer Articles
05 November 1915
SKIPTON SOLDIERS SEE THE KING
It has been the fine experience of Sergt. Stork and Pte. Harry Nicholson, of Skipton, Machine Gun Section, 1st 6th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, to be reviewed by the King and England’s leading Generals just behind the firing line. Sergt. Stork and Pte. Nicholson were selected by the men of the section to represent them at the review. Although the weather was wet the sight was a very impressive one, the King being in his uniform as Field Marshal, accompanied by numerous Staff Officers. The march past was headed by the representatives of the Flying Corps, while two aeroplanes gave exhibitions of flying at the same time. After the march past the troops lined up on either side of the road and to the strains of ‘God Save the King,’ played by a regimental band, gave the King a hearty cheer as he passed along the road in his motor-car. No doubt every man as he returned to his duty in the trenches would feel cheered after seeing the king so near to the actual firing line.
14 January 1916
THE LATE LANCE-CORPORAL WILLAN – Left His Post with Reluctance
Mr. and Mrs. Willan, of Otley Street, Skipton, have received the following letter dated January 1st, from Sergt. Fred Stork (a Skipton young man), of the Machine Gun Section of the 6th West Riding (Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment, who writes in touching terms with regard to the death by gas poisoning of Lance-Corpl. J.W. Willan:–“I am writing on behalf of the Machine Gun Section to express our deepest sympathy with you in your great sorrow. It has been a blow to us all, as he was such a good man and a favourite with everyone. We can understand somewhat, what a blow it must be to you at home. It is the parents who wait at home in vain who know the real horrors of war. I hope it will be some consolation to you to know that Jack died a hero’s death. He stuck to his post until all the danger was past and then left it with reluctance, for we would not allow him to stay any longer. I saw him off to the hospital and did not think he was seriously ‘gassed,’ but he must have been worse than he let us know. You can rest assured that Jack, who served us well whilst amongst us, is now with the Lord. He always lived a clean, straight life, and had the respect and confidence of the officers and men. I again express my own sorrow, as we were rather special friends, and I feel his loss keenly. Well, I hope you will not take it too hard, as you have every reason to be proud of being the parents of a son and a hero who has paid his country’s price. Again I express the sympathy of the Gun Section.”
04 August 1916
STORK – Killed in action in France, Sergt. Fred Stork, of the 1st 6th West Riding Regiment, son of Mr. Frank Stork, of 11, Russell Street, Skipton, aged 23.
04 August 1916
TWO SKIPTON SOLDIERS KILLED – Splendid Tributes by Officers and Men
Sergt. Fred Stork, of the 1st 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, and son of Mr. Frank H. Stork, of 11, Russell Street, Skipton, has been killed in action through a shell bursting in the dug-out. He had been connected with the Territorials three years, and was in training at Marske when they were called up for service. He went out to France with his regiment in April of last year. He was 23 years of age, and was formerly employed as a weaver in Skipton.
Lieut. Ralph M. Robinson, in a letter dated July 26th to his parents, says:– “I must write and tell you how very deeply I sympathise with you in your great sorrow, and I also want you to know what a real personal loss your son’s death is to myself. In all the months we have soldiered together I never remember having had a single difference with him. He was one of the bravest, most hardworking, and most unselfish fellows I have ever met. His work in the trenches has been wonderful all through, and we shall miss him very badly. You will be glad to hear that he suffered no pain. He and his friend, Ernest Cowgill, were killed instantaneously by one shell during a bombardment yesterday. Roy Windle, another Skipton soldier, who was with them, got a nasty wound, but the doctor thinks well of his chances. Mr. Shipman, the Vicar of Long Preston, took the funeral this morning. All the Machine Gun Corps officers were present, as well as several of us from the West Ridings. He was buried in a beautiful little valley between two woods with a river running at the bottom between rows of poplar trees. I know how terrible your sorrow must be at the loss of your son, but at the same time if you only heard what both the officers and men say about him, you would be the proudest father in Craven. I hope your son Myles is all right again now. Please remember me to him.”
A letter has also been received from Corporal A. Gough, a Skipton soldier, who states:– “Our section and myself will miss him very much, as he was well liked by all the lads and by all who knew him. We did our best for him.”
Rev. R. Shipman, Vicar of Long Preston, and Chaplain to the Forces writes:– “It is indeed a sad message that I have to tell you. I buried your son this morning to the sound of the guns close to the front line. A cross will shortly be placed on his grave. I had the privilege of knowing him; and was especially interested in him because I knew his uncle Fred Stork of Long Preston. It may help you to know that your son was very popular and was a very good soldier. His captain has just told me that still better he was a very good son. It is no mere empty phrase when I tell you that you have my most sincere sympathy. May God help and strengthen you to meet this cruel blow.”
Capt. W. J. M. Sproulin writes:– “During a bombardment of our line yesterday afternoon your son went round to one of the guns in the front line, and while he was in a dug-out sheltering, a shell burst into it, killing him instantly, together with the other occupants of the dug-out. His death is a very great loss to me and to the remainder of the company. He was an extremely willing and efficient soldier, and had been in my section since September 1915. I sincerely trust that the knowledge that he died bravely doing his duty for King and Country will be some consolation in your great bereavement.”
Lieut. J Hunter Ward writes:– “I have no words to tell you how much your son was valued, not only in the company, but by all the old members of the 6th Battalion. I never remember a case where more enquiries were made as to whether the news was correct or not, or more regret expressed when the sad news was verified. During this present month he and I worked together all the time, and under conditions which show men under their true colours. He was entirely fearless, fearfully keen on any possible chance of getting a gun into action, and his long experience of trench warfare made him of untold value. Apart from his sterling qualities as a N.C.O., I loved him as a brother. It is only about ten days ago that I wrote home telling my people of my good fortune in possessing such a fearless and hardworking man. I feel sure that I can say but little to ease the pain you must feel at his death, but I would like to say in conclusion that should it be my fate to be killed in this campaign I could wish that I might die as your son with my face to the enemy, fearing nothing but God.”
27 July 1917
In ever loving memory of Sergt. Fred Stork, who was killed in action 25th July, 1916.
– From Father, Sister, and Brothers.
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