William Fripp was killed in action on 19th April 1917 near Loos in northern France. He was serving with the 8th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. The battalion was brought from the reserve trenches on 14th April and took over the line near Vermelles. On the 15th and 16th April two companies from the battalion attacked the German lines near Hill 70, and suffered relatively minor casualties. The attack continued through 17th April until the Germans counter attacked and continued to shell and bomb the Bedford’s throughout 18th April. Bombing attacks and heavy bombardments continued through 19th April, and it is most likely that William Fripp was killed during this phase of the action. The 8th Bedford’s were withdrawn that evening, but the shelling was so intense that the relief was not complete until 6.30am on the morning of 20th April. During five days in the front line the battalion lost 17 Other Ranks killed and another 91 wounded. In addition 6 Officers were killed or wounded.
William Fripp was born in 1874 at Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and baptised 8 November 1874 at St Michael and All Angels, Lyndhurst. He was the son of the Ann (nee Morgan) Fripp; husband of Margaret Mary (nee Dall) Fripp of Hertford.
His mother married Robert Fripp 1854 in the Southampton district. Robert died 1870 in the Westminster St James, London district aged 42 [so is not William’s father], and was buried 29 January in Lyndhurst Cemetery, Hants; Ann possibly died 1888 in the New Forest, Hants, district aged 54.
He was 43 years of age when he was killed in action. At the time of the 1901 Census William was employed as an Attendant on the Insane at the Kent County Lunatic Asylum at Maidstone. By the time of the 1911 Census William, his wife Margaret, and their son Archibald lived at 16 Marlin Square, Abbots Langley. The Census noted that William was employed as an Asylum Attendant at the Leavesden Asylum.
William was first recorded in the Leavesden Parish Magazine in August 1916. It was noted that he had joined His Majesty’s Forces, and was employed as an Attendant at the Asylum. William had enlisted on 28th June 1916 at Bedford, and was living at Marlin Square, Abbots Langley at the time.
He was killed in action on 19th April 1917, and was commemorated on the Loos Memorial. He was not recorded on any of the local War Memorials.
His wife Margaret never remarried and died 1957 in the Ware, Herts, district aged 80.