Frederick Knights


Frederick Knights


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)
8th Bn.


British War and Victory medals


III. K. 1.


>Not Researched

UK Memorials

St Mary the Virgin Church, Therfield, Non-conformist Chapel, Therfield, Not on the Royston memorials, Not on the Rushden memorials

Pre War

Born in Rushden, Herts. on 30 Dec 1886 son of Thomas Daniel and Mary Ann Knights and christened on 29 Feb 1888.

1891 census details

The family was living at Judges Court, Therfield. Thomas Daniel (father) 44, an agricultural labourer was now married to Mary 35, (Margaret) nee Rogers having lost his first wife Susan in 1885. The children recorded from his first wife were George 18, Joseph 14, Arthur 11 and Susan 7 although they had also had a John T. and another  Henry. Since this marriage to Mary they had had Frederick 4, William 3, Henry 1 and Nellie 2 months. Stepdaughter Ester Rogers 9, was also with them.


1901 census details

They were now living at Reed End with the younger children still at home and another 2 children had been born, Mary A. 8 and Charles 7.

1911 census details

In 1911 Frederick who was now a postman is recorded as head of household as his father had died in 1910, mother, William, Henry and Charles (ll farm labourers) were with them and Reed End was the address.

Wartime Service

Frederick enlisted in Royston and went into the 8th London Regiment (The Post Office Rifles) the same as fellow village boy Edward Leete.

He went over on active service after the beginning of 1916 according to his medals card with the numbers 8110 then 374089.

The history of the Post Office Rifles has been written and from it we can deduce that during early 1916 the battalion got into a pattern of 4 days in the front line, 4 days in support then 4 days in 47th. Divisional reserve in the area of the Zouave Valley north west of Vimy Ridge, France. They had a hard time taking over the dilapidated trenches in an area much fought over in 1915 by the French. Much work was needed to improve them but this sector remained fairly quiet until the end of April when, because of the winter activities underground preparing tunnels and saps in preparation for another bout of mine warfare, explosions began.

His  47th Division was due to go on a month’s leave but this all changed and orders were given to take over the trenches of the 25th Division by May 19th which put the Post Office Rifles in the front line. On 20th a bombardment began which grew in intensity on May 21st when over 400 men were killed or wounded.

His friend Edward Leete was one of the dead.

Frederick was involved in the Battles of the Somme from September 15th through to October 8th then in 1917 the Battles of Ypres and Cambrai.

In early 1918 the Post Office Rifles transferred into the 58th Division, (174th Brigade) and from March 21st to April 25th were involved in more horrendous Somme Battles, St. Quentin, Avre and Villers Bretonneux.

Then came the ‘Advance to Victory’ from August 8th when in very foggy conditions they managed to push forwards, taking 500 prisoners including 2 battalion commanders.  This was known as the Battle of Amiens.

Sadly on August 10th Frederick was killed, one of 300 casualties in the P.O.R.s during that battle and is buried at Dive Copse Cemetery.


Malcolm Lennox, Jean Kingsley