King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Yardley, Frederick George

Second Lieutenant ▪ 8th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment

Frederick George Yardley, born on 19th October 1887, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1899. He lived with his father, Joseph, who was “living on own means”, his mother, Ann, and his three older siblings at ‘The Cedars’, Bescot, Walsall.

Frederick was in the Second Class of the Classical School, studying a primarily classical, rather than scientific, curriculum. He was a solid performer in his class, as well as a pupil in mathematics set, A V, though his performance in classics was stronger than in mathematics. Frederick threw himself into a variety of extra-curricular activities. He was in the 1st XI cricket team, receiving his colours in July 1906, and a member of the 1st XV rugby team, and “at 10st 2lbs was useful in the scrum, but very slow, especially when dribbling”. He was also a member of the Debating Society, once arguing that a universal language would “increase laziness in society”. In the annual School Parliamentary Debate, he stood as MP from the Black Country. Upon leaving School, Frederick was admitted to Queen’s College, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1910. He then emigrated to Canada, where he was the classical master at Bishop’s College School, Lennoxville, for three years. He then moved to Vancouver, entered the legal profession and practised as a barrister.

On the very first day of Britain’s involvement in the war, Frederick enlisted with the 72 Seaforth Highlanders (16th Canadian Scottish), Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Ranker. He returned to England where, on 9th January 1915, he obtained his commission as a Second Lieutenant with the 8th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment. He was drafted to France on 17th July 1915, but was hit by a stray bullet while superintending trench-digging operations near Neuve Chapelle on 22nd August. He died in Lahore British General Hospital, Calais, on 17th September 1915, aged twenty-eight, and is buried at Calais Southern Cemetery. He left his estate of £238 to his brother, Archibald.