Other names: Frederick John
Locations in this story: The Chalk, Iwerne Minster, Shaftesbury, DorsetEgyptFrance & FlandersNesle, Peronne, Somme, FranceGermanyBradpole, DorsetChideock, Dorset
Story: Frederick John Coffin was born in Iwerne Minster, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 17th May 1893 and baptised there on 6th August 1893, the son of Elizabeth Coffin (no father was mentioned in the records). Elizabeth went on to marry Robert Domoney; thus Frederick gained a step-father. The family lived at The Chalk, Iwerne Minster, throughout his early life. Frederick enlisted on 14th June 1915 and joined the 3/4th Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment as a Private (Service Nos. 3893 & 15052). He served in Egypt with the 7th Battalion until 15th January 1917 when he transferred to the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 241328) and was posted to France and Flanders. On 25th December 1917 he was again transferred to the 10th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry (Service No. 351539). He took part in a battle in the Somme area which commenced on 21st March 1918 and was reported wounded and missing on 26th March 1918 at Nesle, Peronne, Somme, France, only to later be reported as being a Prisoner of War. He served his imprisonment in Germany and was eventually repatriated on 8th December 1918. He was finally discharged on 22nd March 1919 and awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1915 Star. He married Hilda May Grinter at Chideock, Dorset, on 5th April 1920 and by the 1921 Census had set up home 'near' The School, Chideock, living with his wife's parents whilst Frederick was noted as an 'Out of Work Agricultural Labourer'. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at Olinku Cottage, Chideock, Dorset, and was employed as a Roadman for Dorset County Council. His death was recorded at Bradpole, Dorset, on 20th December 1967 having latterly moved there to live at 1 Court Close, Bradpole. Printed source: "Iwerne Minster Before, During, and After the Great War", edited by P. Anderson Graham, printed for Private Circulation only.