Frederick Arthur Pollard

Mary Norris

Frederick was born on 23/02/1912, the son of Horace and Harriett Pollard, nee Thorpe. Harriett was known as Harty within the family. When he was born the family were living at 5 Spring Gardens but they later moved to 10 St Pancras Gardens.
Frederick attended Central School and was part of the school football team. He married Elsie Millicent Gurr in 1935 but they had just one child, a daughter Cynthia, born at the beginning of 1944. They lived at 11 Horsfield Road.
Frederick followed his father into gardening and in 1939 was listed as a market gardener. He worked for the East Sussex War Agricultural Executive as a lorry driver. His father Horace died in hospital in 1942.

Frederick, as printed in the Sussex Agricultural Express

Frederick joined up in August 1943 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. They had started the war in the West Indies but had returned home for training in Scotland ready for the Normandy Landings.

Frederick landed on Queen’s beach on D Day as part of 185 Brigade and followed very much the same route his nephew Albert had taken.
His battalion reached Caen and was involved in heavy fighting to take the town, followed by a battle for Manneville. They crossed the river Seine in September and continued across Belgium to the Netherlands.

Once in the Netherlands 185 Brigade were part of several operations spearheaded by Field Marshall Montgomery: Operation Market Garden, a joint offensive with the USAAF, Operation Gatwick, which was postponed, and finally Operation Constellation.

The main objective of all of these was to liberate some of the towns of southern Netherlands and form a bridgehead over the river Rhine, thus creating an invasion route for the Allied forces into northern Germany.

The first part of Operation Constellation, called Caster, started on 12/10/1944 with the aim of liberating several of the smaller towns in the Venraij area.
By 17th considerable progress had been made, with 185 Brigade eventually crossing the Loobeek river; however casualties were high and the river earned the nickname ‘Bloodbeek’.

Frederick was killed on 17/10/1944 on the approach to the bridge, and was buried with three of his colleagues at Venraij, roughly half way between Eindhoven and Nijmegen.
The Netherlands were not fully liberated until April the following year.
On 07/06/1945 Frederick and his three comrades were exhumed and re-buried, with honour, at Mierlo War Cemetery, enabling their graves to be properly maintained by CWGC. They are buried in adjacent graves with Frederick in grave I A 12.

He is listed on both the Southover Memorial and the St John sub Castro Memorial as well as the Lewes War Memorial.

This page was added on 04/11/2020.

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