Ewhurst History Society

July 1918

Wounded Officer

Capt. William Ralph Frecheville, Royal Engineers, had been severely wounded in March at Hamel and had been evacuated to England. He was then transferred to the Redruth Officers Hospital, Cornwall. Although initially making a good recovery his condition suddenly deteriorated and he was diagnosed with acute septicemia.

He was the son of Professor William Frechville of High Wykehurst. On hearing of their son’s illness, his mother, Lizzie, travelled down to Cornwall and engaged the services of a London consultant to treat William, and also two trained nurses for his care. She then petitioned the War Office for reimbursement for the consultant’s fee. The War Office agreed to pay for the nurses (£21.4s.6d) but refused to pay for the consultant’s fee of £200.00 as it was the Frechevilles own choice to employ him and it should not be charge to the public purse. William recovered, but classed as C1 was unfit for Active Service and was sent to the school of military Engineering at Chatham, where he remained until the Armistice.