FREDERICK OVER BATE 

Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 9th Coy. Machine Gun Corps Killed In Action Tuesday 25th September 1917 Age 28County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried BRANDHOEK NEW MILITARY CEMETERY NO.3
Grave\Panel Ref: I.H.23.
Belgium

Son of Mr. Joseph Bate and Mrs. Mary Bate, M.B.E. of 225, St Andrews Road, Bordesley, Birmingham, 135, Canal Road Congleton, Cheshire and 2, Lawton Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had one sister, Louisa Margaret Bate. In 1911, he was employed as an Elementary School Teacher.

Frederick Over Bate was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, about 1890. By 1901, he was living in Congleton, where his family owned a furniture shop in Kinsey Street in the town centre.

He attended the King's School, Macclesfield in 1905 in order to gain a college education, but instead chose a position as a teacher at St James's School in Congleton. He did however enter the recently opened Bristol University to read sciences, passing his intermediate B. Sc. Exam in 1913, he then went on to study physics. When war was declared he joined the Officer Training Corp and then the 11th, Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment. In February 1916, he joined the 9th Scottish Division of the Machine Gun Corp and embarked for France. He took part in the Somme Offensive at the end of 1916 moving on to Arras by the early months of 1917. He then moved on to take up lines North East of Zonnebeke on the 15th of September as part of the Passchendaele offensive. When the offensive began on the 20th of September, the machine guns were used as part of the "creeping barrage". On the 24th of September the Division left the front line for the nearby village of Arneke to regroup for the next stage. It was here that Frederick Over Bate was killed when in command of a transport section taking supplies up the line. A letter from Private N. McNeil, printed in the Courier states that he was in charge of pack animals, taking rations to Officers and was killed instantly by a bomb dropped by an aircraft. His death was not confirmed for over a month. The Bristol University magazine commented, "He should be honoured as one, who through a sense of national duty, deliberately chose the trenches when he could have taken a war appointment as a specialist, although in temperament and habits of life he was not suited for physical fighting, members of staff and fellow students feel a deep sense of personal loss in his death". It appears that Frederick Over Bate was a quirky and witty character, he always used his unusual middle name, rather than Fred. One letter from him, enclosing a book as a late Christmas present reads, "To wish you the compliments of the season is, in my opinion, a farce, a relic of less civilised ages, for one will either enjoy or not enjoy this festive season, the enjoyment being determined in some measure by one's environment." It ends, "Your dyspeptic, cold hearted, head-achy, pessimistic affectionate, nephew, F. Over Bate."



                                                 The inscription at the bottom reads: Of Bristol Uninversity and Congleton England.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for the research on Frederick.

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016