Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
4 Sep 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Fred Harper, 13942, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action on on the Somme on September 4th, 1916. He was the first man in Offley to volunteer for war service and the sixth man from the village to perish on the battlefield.
In a letter to his widow Mary Elizabeth, the captain of his company wrote that her son's body was recovered and given a proper burial. However, he is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, suggesting he had no known grave and where he was buried may have been destroyed or not relocated.
Fred Harper had married Mary Elizabeth McDonald in 1909 and had two sons, Leslie (born later in 1909) and Albert (born 1912). Mary herself died in 1918 at the age of 29.
Born in 1885, he was the son of John and Mary Ann Harper, of The Lodge, Lilley Bottom.