Frederick John Pitt

Frederick is included as he is on the Absent Voters Register for 1918 and 1919 though he is not on the war memorial. His address on discharge from the army is given as the Green, Saxlingham Nethergate. This is where his parents-in -law Arthur and Eliza Sparkes lived. Arthur worked as a groom in the village.

Frederick was born on 5 August 1881 in Corton Mutford, Suffolk. His parents were William David and Emma (nee Howard) Pitt. William was a blacksmith and worked for many years as a blacksmith at Colman’s Mustard and Starch factory in Trowse, Norwich.

Frederick had three siblings, one of whom died.

William George Pitt born 1876

Florence Emma born 1878.

Records show that William worked as a plumber but moved to live in Southend on sea. He married in 1900.

 Florence worked as a starch packer in the factory. She married George Laycock, a mustard miller in 1905 and lived in Norwich.

In 1891 the family were living in White Horse Lane, Trowse with Newton. By 1901 they were living at 12 School Terrace, Trowse. They continued to live at this address for many years.

Frederick was employed as a plumber and in 1911 was living on London Street, Swaffham, Norfolk.

In February 1915 he married Margaret Sarah Sparkes, born 11 December 1889, at St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate. He was 34 years old and she was 25 years old. In 1911 she had been working as a servant in Clacton on Sea. Her family lived in Saxlingham Nethergate where her father worked as a groom.

Their son Arthur George was born on 30 May 1915. He was mentally incapacitated and was in The Hall, Little Plumstead Mental Hospital in 1939 as a patient.

They had four other children;

Florence Emma born 17 September 1917

Ruby E born 1920

William born 1922

Frederick David John born 20 August 1925.

Frederick  joined the Northumberland Regiment on 19 August 1916. He later transferred to the Royal Engineers. His service number was186295.

Prior to enlisting he was working for Boulton and Paul, Riverside Works, Norwich as a plumber.

Boulton and Paul specialised in making corrugated iron buildings, many of which were exported to the Colonies.

  At the start of the war in 1914 they manufactured vast quantities of huts to set up army camps. In 1915 they began to construct aircraft and a new factory was created on reclaimed marshland on Riverside in Norwich.

Boulton and Paul Factory 1928

After training in England he arrived in France on 23 April 1917 where he served for 1 year and 10 months.

He was admitted to hospital in France from 10 January to 21 January 1918 but it is not known why.

On 19 February 1918 whilst in Dunkirk he experienced loss of power in his right arm and was admitted to Frevent Stationary Hospital.

On 16 February 1919 he was admitted to 8th Canadian Stationary Hospital in Dunkirk with a swollen throat and  a temperature of 103 degrees F. He developed boils on his right arm and face. He was transferred to 18th Camiers General Hospital and then to the Heavy Woollen District, Military Hospital in Dewsbury. He was transferred to the Auxiliary Military Hospital, Park Lane, Wakefield to convalesce. He left hospital on 11 March 1919 and was discharged from the Army on 12 April 1919.

Photograph of a general medical ward of British General Hospital No 18

Whilst he was in the army, his wife Margaret and son, Arthur, lived with his parents at 12 School Terrace, Trowse. He however was on the Absent Voters List for Saxlingham Nethergate and gave his parents- in -law address as his when he was discharged.

In 1921 and 1922 the family were living with his mother in Trowse.  From 1923 to 1924 they lived near Winters’ Farm in Shotesham St Mary. They moved to live in the Council Houses, Poringland in 1924.

In 1939 Frederick was working as a plumber doing heavy pipe work and was also an ARP warden. His son Frederick was a tailor’s apprentice and Florence was a sales assistant selling gloves. Two other children were at the house. They were living at 4 West Side, Poringland., which were Council houses

When he died on 18 March 1961 at the West Norwich Hospital, Norwich his address was given as 4 Beverley Close Norwich. Probate was granted to his son, Frederick David John Pitt.

Margaret died in 1978.


England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005

UK Census Collection

British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920

1939 Register-

Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe,  (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920), Shotesham St. Mary and Poringland

British Army Service Records

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1858-1995

Gooch Family Tree.

St Mary’s Church Saxlingham Marriage records (transcribed by Mary Muir)

Photograph of British General Hospital No. !8  

History of Boulton and Paul Ltd

If anyone has any photographs or information about this person, please contact me. Email