Lieutenant, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, formerly Royal Army Service Corps and 2/3rd London Regiment reg. No S4/186279/2503
Frederick John Vercoe was born in Berkhamsted on 27 Nov 1893. He was the second son of Henry John and Mary nee Cherry. He had three brothers and five sisters. When he was young his father ran the Black Horse public house in Berkhamsted High Street. By 1911 the family had moved to 10 Chapel Street and Henry was working as a foreman at Cooper’s Chemical Works.
Frederick was educated at Berkhamsted School. When he left school, he obtained a job as a clerk in a paper mill and continued to live with his parents. From there he obtained a job as works manager at Cooper’s Chemical Factory in Berkhamsted.
Frederick enlisted into the London Regiment on 4 Sep 1914. He left Southampton on 23 Dec 1914, arriving in Malta on 1 Jan 1915, he stayed there until 8 Apr. He arrived in Port Sudan on 19 Apr 1915. His medical card states that he entered the theatre of war on 8 Apr 1915. He was discharged from the London Regiment and re-enlisted with the Royal Army Service Corp on 17 Apr 1915. He was based in Khartoum working as a clerk. He remained in Egypt until 17 Apr 1916. Frederick was mentioned in dispatches on 20 Jun 1916. He left the RASC when he obtained a commission in the Royal West Kent regiment on 26 Jun 1917.
At the end of September, he was ill in hospital. After surgery and a long convalescence, he returned to the army and was based in Poona, India. He drowned while sailing in India on 28 April 1919. He was 25 years old. He was buried at St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery in Poona. According to his medal card, he had served in three separate theatres of War. He is not listed on the Berkhamsted war memorial even though his mother subscribed to the memorial fund.
Frederick is remembered on the grave of his parents at Rectory Lane Cemetery: In loving memory of Henry John Vercoe passed away Sept 25 1922 aged 56. ‘Grant them O Lord eternal rest.’ Also, Mary wife of Henry John Vercoe passed away on Aug 7 1941 aged 74. Also of Fred Vercoe drowned at Poona, India April 28 1919 aged 25 .
See BLHMS Men of Berkhamsted: Lest we Forget’ (2017) pp.167-8