Full name and title: Lieutenant Fred Philip Hirst
|Full article: |
Fred Hirst was born in Islington, son of William Ernest and Marion Jane Hurst, the eldest of four children. The 1911 census shows the family residing at 6 Fawnbrake Avenue in Herne Hill. Fred was then aged 16 and employed as a junior clerk by the Union Castle Line. The only military record for Fred Hirst to have been found shows him enlisting as a territorial in 1912 (aged 18) in the 12th Battalion (County of London Regiment), but discharged as unfit for war service in February 1915. He must have re-enlisted and been sent to Malta, possibly because garrison duties did not require the same physical fitness. It seems likely that the cause of his death in Malta in 1919 was Spanish flu. The pandemic saw three major outbreaks on the island in 1918-19. Fred's parents were still living in Fawnbrake Avenue in 1916, but later moved to 75 Beckwith Road.