DALEY, Fred

Sergeant Major Fred Daley
6318 Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)

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Fred Daley was born in 1881 in Mansfield and was a regular soldier before the outbreak of the war. We have been advised that he was a Sergeant awaiting his de-mobilisation when war broke out, so Fred remained in the Army but we are not sure this is accurate as, on the 1911 Census, Fred was living at Station Road, Selston with his new wife Lottie and his occupation was given as coal miner/hewer.

Fred was an exceptionally talented footballer and played for the England Army Team. He was also invited to become a professional by several 1st Division Football Teams, all of which he declined (The pay was nothing like that of today). He was also a ‘Whist’ player of some considerable skill and was thought to be perhaps the best player Jacksdale had ever known. It was often said of him that he must be able to see through people’s cards! He was also on the Committee of Jacksdale Cricket Club.

Fred was in action in some of the most horrendous battles of the war and somehow managed to survive, despite being gassed on several occasions. He witnessed terrible sights, including the hurried burial of hundreds of comrades, which led to him insisting on cremation upon his own death. He was a recipient of the 1915 Star, The British War and Victory Medals. His Medal Rolls Index Card gives his rank as Warrant Officer Class II, in all likelihood, a Company Sergeant Major.

After the war, Fred became a Pit Deputy at James Oakes Collieries, Pyehill, Jacksdale. He was also a life-long committee member of the Codnor Park and Ironville Co-op based at Dixie Street, Jacksdale (The Bakery).

Fred was married to Charlotte (nee Cresswell), known as ‘Lottie’ and they lived at number 1, Dixie Street, Jacksdale. They had three children that we know of, a son called Frederick Kenneth (Ken) and several daughters, Gladys, Adela, Eileen, Freda and Kathleen. His wife and his daughter Adela were active members of Jacksdale Hospital Committee during the late 1930’s.

His wife Charlotte always maintained that Fred died prematurely, ‘because of the ‘Gas Poisoning’ he suffered during the war’.

Fred died on the 29th January 1942. His wife Charlotte lived until 5th May 1969, aged 84 .

Ken Haddon, a long standing resident of Jacksdale, recalls a story when he and Fred’s son, Ken were playing cards for halfpennies with a couple of other friends in the Miners Institute when Fred came along and sternly told them “They’ll ne’er get rich playing cards like that…….. Hutch up and mek room …. I’ll show thee how it’s done!”