Post First World War, Russia 1920

Ewhurst War Memorial

Captain W R Frecheville on Ewhurst Memorial, Photograph by James Pratt

Following the First World War in November 1918, regional conflicts continued. A number of Surrey men would have taken part in these post-armistice operations.

One memorial relating to these operations can be seen in a stained glass window at St Peter and St Paul Church at Ewhurst. This commemorates Captain W R Frecheville who served with the Royal Engineers during the First World War. He was killed, aged 24, on the 9th Jan 1920 at Rostov, Russia.

The British had sent a military mission as part of a wider allied intervention in Russia. Arriving in 1918 the main role of the British troops was to guard Allied stores and to keep open the Trans-Siberian railway.

The Allied mission was present due to the threat of German involvement in the region assisting the Russian White Forces in the 3 year civil war against the Red Bolshevik Russians. The Allied military mission were officially banned from taking part in combat operations due to their role as advisors, however within the civil war the Red or Bolshevik Russian’s viewed the British personnel as combatants and participants of the war due to the role they undertook with the White armies Captain Frecheville was placed as an advisor, alongside Lieutenant Couche within Don Army (in Rostov-on-Don) as machine gun instructors, and were captured during a retreat of the White forces at Rostov.

Following a report on the fate of Frechielle and Couche it was found that they had both been executed after capture.

Prior to going to Russia In January 1917, Captain Frecheville was Mentioned in Despatches whilst serving in France. In the same year was promoted to the rank of Captain. Throughout his career on the western front in France he was wounded three times, with two wounds being serious enough for him to be evacuated and resulting in recuperation back in England

Further Reading

  • For the Historic Environment Record (HER) record of the War Memorial that lists  Captain W R Frecheville Click Here.

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