Place of Birth Madras
Date of Birth 29th November 1893
Service Number L/13730
Regiment Royal Fusiliers
Battalion City of London Regiment
Died 1st June 1915
Death Location Gallipoli
Family Life Before The War
Frederick George Kirk was one of 2 siblings born to Frederick George and Charlotte Saunders (nee Kirk), who married in India on 4 November 1885.
Frederick George enlisted in the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 7 August 1880 at Hounslow. He was posted to India in November 1882.
In October 1887, Frederick George transferred to the Indian Army. He retired on 12 October 1911 with the rank of Honorary Captain.
Frederick George Kirk’s sister was Winifred Ethel Margaret Saunders, who was born on 29 October 1888 in Madras.
Unfortunately, Winifred did not celebrate her first birthday; she died in Madras on 15 August 1889.
Charlotte died in 1894 and Frederick George married Ann Amelia Mackay on 16 October 1895.
The couple had 3 further children….
George Mackay b. 14 September 1896 Madras d. 1965 Southampton
William John b. 15 November 1899 Mandalay, Burma
Dorothy May b. 24 October 1903 Secunderbad, India
The family returned to England after the 1911 Census to Southsea, before settling in Southampton.
Frederick George Kirk enlisted in Hounslow as a Sergeant in the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) 2nd Battalion, he was killed in action on 1st June 1915 at Gallipoli.
The level of rank made it possible for families to be with the serving soldier, as a certain amount of family accommodation was available.
The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac. The 8 month campaign in Gallipoli included Commonwealth and French Troops in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war to try and help the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium and for Russia to have a supply route through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.
The East India Company entered India around 1600 for trading activities. To secure trade to the area and the commercial interests in the spice trade the company began the construction of a harbour and fort. The fort was completed on St.Georges Day in 23d April 1644, hence the fort was named Fort St.George, it faced the sea and some fishing villages and was soon a hub of merchant activity, which gave birth to a new settlement area called George Town, which grew to encompass the villages and led to the formation of the City of Madras.
The fort is a stronghold with 6 metre high walls, it was restored to Great Britain and still houses a garrison of troops in transit to various locations in South India. Fredericks’ father served here in the Royal Artillery in 1874.
Frederick is buried at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles – grave reference C No 253.
Story amended 31.5.16 by MH; with thanks to Lindsey Saunders for updated information.