Frederick Albert Lines

Name Frederick Albert Lines
Corps East Surrey Regiment,1st Battalion; 17th (The Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Lancers
Rank Private
Service No. L/11698, formerly GS/24136, 32500
Date/Place of entry January 1914
Date of death 1965

(I am greatly indebted to Janice Binley of Cottingham for sharing her information on the Lines family, on which this account is partly based.)

Frederick Albert Lines was born in 1892 at Cold Ashby, the sixth child and third son of Owen Lines and his wife Mary nee Scott.  The family settled in Cottingham between 1898 and 1901 when Owen got a job as gardener at the Rectory. For a full account of the family see the entry for Frederick’s eldest brother Owen George Lines

Frederick joined the army in January 1914, following the example of his brother Henry William Lines who had enlisted into the Leicestershire regiment in 1904. Frederick became a private in 1st battalion, East Surrey Regiment which was one of the first to be sent to France that August.

The battalion had been on duty in Dublin and landed at Le Havre on 15th August, part of the 14th Brigade in the 5th Division. Frederick therefore took part in the Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, the Battles of Le Cateau and the Affair of Crepy-en-Valois, the Marne, and the Aisne. This last battle ended on 10 September and within weeks Frederick transferred into a cavalry regiment, the 17th (The Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Lancers.

His transfer may have been a result of the decision that autumn to replace a significant number of the 5th Division’s units for soldiers from the newly arrived 32nd Division, a volunteer formation. The theory was that reinforcing the inexperienced newcomers with regular troops would strengthen the Division, even though many of the regulars, like Frederick, were themselves relatively recent recruits.

The 17th had been stationed in India as part of the 2nd (Sialkot) Cavalry Brigade of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division. It disembarked at Marseilles on 7 November 1914. Once arrived at the Western Front, despite being a cavalry regiment the 17th frequently found itself occupying the trenches alongside infantry troops. It would not be until the Battle of Cambrai late in 1917 – coincidently the first time tanks were used on a large scale – that it was used in its traditional role.

The 1st Indian Cavalry Division (renamed on 26 November 1916 as the 4th Cavalry Division) fought many engagements on the Western Front but had a principal role in the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. After the Armistice was signed the 17th Lancers joined the British Army of the Rhine in Cologne. 

Frederick was discharged in 1919. In 1921 he married Ethel Faulkener and they had two daughters. He died in Wellingborough in 1965.

Other than his brothers Owen George and Henry William, the only other members of his extended Lines family who can definitely be identified as servicemen are Ernest Cowley, son of his cousin Ernest Cowley (descended from his aunt Hannah nee Lines), and Albert Bazeley, Edmond White Bazeley, Frank Walter Bazeley and Arthur Bazeley, all second cousins on his grandmother Rhoda Lines nee Bazeley’s side. On his mother’s side was his cousin William George Scott.