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‘Pals’ at the Somme
Frederick Edward Heslop was the son of Frances Heslop, a Warcop farmer’s daughter. The year after his birth in 1898 his mother married Leonard Coates. He was brought up at Orton in Cumbria but after his stepfather’s death, Frances and her seven children moved to Garnett Plain in Skelsmergh and lived there until she died in 1932. Fred worked at Ellergill Farm at Orton but volunteered at the start of the war and joined the Lonsdale Pals (11th Border Regiment) and then the 32nd Divisional Cyclists Company. The Lonsdale Pals was a volunteer battalion raised by Lord Lonsdale of Lowther Castle. He died on 1 July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme – a day when more than 19,000 British soldiers died. He was 18. Fred has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Monument quite close to where he must have died.