I’ve never spoken before about how we decided on the name Freddie.
My Nan’s uncle, Ernest Frederick Eldred, was in the 2/3rd City of London Field Ambulance, he helped save many lives along the front line and risked his own. “Uncle Freddie” as he was referred to, only had one daughter Marjorye, herself in the WRENS in WW2. Marjorye was like a sister to my Nan as they were both only-children and Nanny would go and stay with them every summer as her parents were busy running a hotel. I was lucky enough to inherit all Fred Eldred’s WW1 photographs and documents when Marjorye passed away.
One month after the Armistice in 1918, Fred was posted to Mons in Belgium to help process all the French and Belgian refugees. His unit’s story and the photos are harrowing and inspiring. I always thought it would be an honour to name our son after him as he hadn’t had the chance to have a son, so when I found out we were having a boy, we immediately called him Freddie.
I felt an extra pang of sadness and regret that we lost Freddie at 38 weeks. It seemed cruel to have named him in honour of Fred Eldred only for him to die.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Fred Eldred and all the people who served in WW1 today. It’s incredible that 100 years have passed since he clicked his camera and captured “humanity in a lorry” as one of his comrades put it. I want to do another blog post to share the photos of the refugees at Mons but for tonight I will leave it here and remember my Freddie and his namesake.