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Fred Kitching

Fred Kitching’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1896 , and he was the son of  William and Elizabeth (nee Beall) Kitching.  Wiiliam was a Boot and shoe maker and was living at 12 Westgate, Old Malton with his wife and six children at the time of the 1901 Census.

1901 Census – resident at 12 Westgate, Old Malton
KITCHING, William, Head, Married, M, 44, Boot & Shoemaker, Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, Elizabeth, Wife, Married, F, 44, , Norton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, Tom, Son, Single, M, 18, Boot & Shoemaker, Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, Florence, Daughter, , F, 11, , Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, James, Son, , M, 9, , Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, John, Son, , M, 7, , Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, Fred, Son, , M, 6, , Malton Yorkshire,
KITCHING, Walter, Son, , M, 3, , Malton Yorkshire,

 Elizabeth died on 22nd July 1905 and William on 10th September 1906 so the eldest son Tom took over the household, marrying about 1910.

1911 Census – resident at 12 Westgate, Old Malton
KITCHING, Tom William, Head, Married, M, 28, Bootmaker, Yorks Old Malton,
KITCHING, Louisa Alice, Wife, Married 1 years, F, 25, , Yorks Old Malton,
KITCHING, Florence Emma, Sister, Single, F, 21, General Servant Domestic, Yorks Old Malton,
KITCHING, James Edward, Brother, Single, M, 19, Grocer, Yorks Old Malton,
KITCHING, Fred, Brother, Single, M, 16, Joiner, Yorks Old Malton,
KITCHING, Arthur, Brother, , M, 9, , Yorks Old Malton,

Fred Kitching went out to France in 1915 as a private with the Yorkshires and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He received his commission in January 1918, and came home for a short time before returning to France where he was attached to the 1/6th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. He had only been there eleven weeks before he was killed by a shell on July 10th 1918.  His company commander wrote “His death is a terrible blow to us all, and particularly to those, like myself, who came into daily contact with him, and to whom his unfailing good temper, keenness and magnificent courage were a constant inspiration. What also struck me particularly was the matter-of-fact way in which he threw himself heart and soul into the life of the regiment.” He is buried in Hagle Dump Cemetery at Elverdinghe to the west of Ypres.

The cemetery, begun in April 1918, during the Battles of Lys, was named after a nearby stores dump. It was used by fighting units and field ambulances until the following October and was enlarged after the Armistice when more than 200 graves were brought into Plots III and IV from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient and Brielen Military Cemetery, which was close to the South side of Brielen village, contained the graves of 31 French soldiers, 16 from the United Kingdom and four Canadian, and was used from April 1915 to September 1917.

As well as Old Malton Church and Memorial Hall, he is also commemorated on his father’s tombstone (along with his brother James Edward, also a WW1 Casualty) in Old Malton Cemetery.

A degree of confusion exists as the Yorkshire Regiment’s website identifies this 2nd Lieutenant F. KItching with Frederick Overand Kitching from Darlington, a man nearly 10 years older(2nd Lieutenant Frederick Overand Kitching. 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Killed 10 July 1918. Buried HAGLE DUMP CEMETERY.) According to the CWGC Frederick Overand Kitching served in the British Red Cross and died 11th August.1918