THOMAS LAURENCE FROST 

Rank: Captain
Regiment: Cheshire Regiment Killed In Action Sunday 28th March 1915 Age 25County Memorial Upton nr Chester & Chester
Commemorated\Buried BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY
Grave\Panel Ref: Enclosure No2. IV.A.41.
Belgium

Adjutant 1st Bn Cheshire Regiment, died aged 25 on 28th March 1915.

Son of Sir John Meadows Frost (made Freeman of Chester 1878), of Upton Lawn, Chester, who was a County Magistrate, who had a brother who was High Sherriff. His elder brother was Lt Col J Meadows Frost DSC.

Thomas was educated at Charterhouse, and spent 3 years with the Charterhouse Cadet Corps, followed by Clare College, Cambridge (1907-1910), where he spent a further 3 years with the Cambridge University OTC, in the Cavalry Squadron.    

He was selected for a commission in the Cheshire Regiment on 4th January 1911 as a Varsity Candidate, nominated by the University of Cambridge.

On enlistment at 21, his height was 5’7”, chest 36”, weight 153 lbs, with good hearing and vision and generally ‘fit’.

The 1st Battalion had embarked for France on the 14th August from York Docks in Belfast aboard the SS Massillia, arriving at Le Havre on the 16th. Marches were then made to Gommignies, and on to Boussu, the first German gun being heard on the 23rd, near Mons. The Cheshires were to be held in reserve with the Norfolks, but were soon in action against the advancing Germans, and suffered many casualties whilst holding up the German 5th Division. Genearl Gleichen wrote, ‘The Battalion behaved magnificently in the face of terrible odds and immense difficulties. One could not expect more of them; they did their duty, and did it thunderingly well, as I should always have expected from such a great battalion, and I am only too grieved that they had such frightful losses’. In the retreat from Mons, the Battalion reached Le Cateau where the 200 odd survivors were kept in reserve near Troisvilles. The retreat halted on the outskirts of Tournant about 18km from Paris, on the 5th September. The return north began 2 days later, and entailed river crossings of the Marne and the Aisne, and heavy fighting ensued. In early October, the battalion had reached La Bassee, and was again involved in heavy fighting, and on the 16th , captured its objective of Rue d’Ouvert and moved along the Violaines road. On the 17th, a welcome reinforcement of 3 officers and 248 men arrived, and a successful attack was launched on Violaines. The battalion got nearer to La Bassee than any other British or Allied troops were to in 4 years. During October, the Battalion had seven commanding officers, and at the end of the battle of La Bassee, was commanded by Lieutenant Frost, who together with the Quartermaster, Sproule, were the last of the officers who had landed with the battalion.

On the 7th November, the battalion moved up to Ypres and was holding trenches just south of the 6km stone on the Menin Road, and with no reinforcements since Violaines, held the 350 yards of trench allotted to them with considerable difficulty.

At 5.30am on the 10th, the Battalion spotted the enemy massing in a wood nearby, ‘but our shells scattered them, and they were easily repulsed by our rifle fire’.

There followed a long spell of trench warfare, and the battalion was relieved on the 21st November and, only 230 strong, went to Locre, having lost 35 killed, 99 wounded and 65 missing.

His estate, valued for probate at £14,245 5s 0d was divided 1/3 to his godson, Henry Frost, 1/3 to his brother, John Meadows Frost (minor), and 1/3 to his cousin, Leopold Grantley Norton, a Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry. Unfortunately his cousin had been reported ‘missing’ on 20th October 1914, and on application to the Court of Chancery, this part of his estate passed to his father, as next of kin.     

 Bedford House Cemetery, Ypres.

There is also a bronze tablet framed in oak, the gift of Sir John Meadows Frost kt. in the entrance of the Town Hall, commemorating the men of the city and district, including his own son, who fell in the Great War.

Made free July 9th, 1910 by birth – profession, Gentleman.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Chris Pate for this information on Thomas.