First World War Roll of Honour
Frederick Thomas Austen Wilson was born in Manila in the Philippines, the son of Frederick and Ethel Wilson, later of Golders Green, London. From 1911 to 1913 he was educated at Ovingdean Hall preparatory school in Brighton, before entering Felsted School with a scholarship in May 1913, where he excelled both at sports and academically. He won the School Mile and gained colours for cricket and football, also ending his time at the School as a Prefect. According to his School magazine, his hobby outside School was architecture and he was often to be found studying London churches around his home in Golders Green.
In 1917 he gained a Classical Scholarship to Downing College, although, as a result of his experience as a Sergeant in Felsted’s Officer Training Corps, he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 5th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 25 August before he could matriculate in Cambridge. He was later attached to the 2nd Battalion.
Frederick went out to France a few months after receiving his commission and proved himself to be an able and valuable officer. On 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, with Operation Michael in the Somme lasting until 4 April and the Lys Offensive to the north beginning five days later. 2nd Lt Wilson was killed in action on 12 April 1918 during the Battle of the Lys near the village of Vieux Berquin. His Major described him as “very popular with all ranks and was a keen sportsman, always helping his men in every possible way. He is a great loss to the Battalion, where his energy and keenness were a great example to everyone." He has no known grave but is likely to have been buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery with others who died at that time.
He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial and on memorials at Felsted School and Downing College.
With grateful thanks to the Wilson family for information and photographs
The Griffin, Lent 1919
Frederick (centre) with members of the Felsted School OTC – with kind permission of the Wilson family.