Military Service.


 1906 (19/05/1906) Major 1st/4th Suffolks, passed Militia, Yeomanry and Volunteer Officers Examination in Tactics, Military Engineering and Topography.

1914 Major, Military Member of the Suffolk Territorial Force Association.

During the summer of 1914 the 4th Battalion were undergoing their annual training at Great Yarmouth starting on the 31st July. By the start of August the impending situation the Battalion moved south to their base at Ipswich with readiness for mobilisation. By midnight of the 4th orders had reach Ipswich and the Battalion moved to old Felixstowe and set to building fortification in preparation for a German invasion. Training continued with elements of the Battalion moving to Essex. By mid-October the Battalion was selected for active service and orders were given to proceed to France, under the Battalion commander Lieutenant- colonel F. Garrett. On the 5th November, they departed for Southampton. At Southampton they were due to be rearmed and billeted (in deplorable conditions). The camp had already had thousands of troops pass through it and by that time mud and poor accommodation would set the scene for the years to come ahead. Following a two day wait they boarded the S.S Rossetti and set for Harve, France, arriving on the 9th November 1914.

A further two days wait in poor conditions they boarded a train for St. Omer on the 14th and marched to their new camp 3 miles from the station at Blendecques. Following several moves and intensive training with over twenty officers the Battalion joined the Lahore Division. By the 14th December “D” company of the 4th Battalion entered the trenches and the remaining Battalion moved to Annequin in reserve for the forthcoming action between Bethune and La Bassee. “D” company seeing action only, the Battalion was moved to Beuvry. The Battalion now saw action at Givenchy throughout December, spending Christmas at  Allouagne behind the line.

(09/11/1914.) Landed at le Havre and transferred to the Jullundur Brigade of the Lahore Division.

1915 (26/04/1915) Wounded 4th Suffolks

24th April 1915 the Battalion as part of the Lahore Division, were ordered to move northwards towards Ypres. They arrived at Boeschepe, marching 18 miles, arriving in the dark. The following day they pasted the 2nd Battalion, the 4th Suffolks marched in heavy rain to Ouderdom.

By the 26th they arrived on the outskirts of Ypres which was being heavily shelled. The Battalion moved to the south of the city. The Brigade spread out on the Zonnebeke road up to Potijze on the junction to St. Jean. It was noted that the Germans were firing 42cm guns onto the city, which was now in total devastation, seeing shell holes 72ft wide. The sound of the shelling was great and was described as flying express trains “Wipers Express”

At 14:00hrs The Lahore Division advanced on the German line from the road. The 4th Suffolks were in support of the 47th Sikhs, the moment they moved forward crossing the road, the moment they moved off Major Frederick William Turner was hit along with a number of his men. Minutes later the Germans released poison gas which drifted onto the Allied lines causing the advance to faulter. The advance was pushed back and the order was given to dig in as the Germans began to shell their positions. During the early hours of the following day, the Battalion were withdrawn and moved back to positions at Potijze. Frederick Turner returned to England to recover from his wounds.

By March 18th 1916 Frederick had returned to active service in France, taking up temporary command of the 4th Battalion on the 1st April 1916. The Battalion saw action along the Bassee road, a week later they were in trenches in the Cuinchy sector, and over the next few months saw several actions involving hand to hand fighting. By May 22nd a new commander had been found in view of the forth coming summer campaign. By early 1917 Major Frederick Turner took up a new command of training in England for the new 4th Suffolk reserve.

Following the end of the First World War, which 10,000 Ipswich men had served, national veteran groups began to form.  Discharged men faced high unemployment and the uncertainty of a new world order, many groups were politically motivated fielding their own MP’s.

It was estimated 1.7 million men had disabilities caused through military service and were entitled to disability pensions. 28% of the fallen had been married with dependents.

In 1919 riots and protests spread across the country. In Ipswich a number of large demonstrations shook the town where local businesses were criticised for failing to re-employ the men they had encouraged to join up during the war, and the drop in wages for those they had taken back on.

Nationally 4 veteran groups took the lead, all with political motivations.

  • The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers.
  • The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.
  • The Comrades of The Great War.
  • The Officers’ Association.

For Ipswich, the group “The Comrades of The Great War” (Tory) were the most dominant. Frederick was voted in as Commandant.

In 1919 British tobacco manufacturer, soldier and Conservative politician, Colonel ARTHUR CHURCHMAN and former Mayor of Ipswich, donated a Manor house and land in memory of his son CHARLES HARVEY CHURCHMAN who died in the Great War. The house was situated on St. Margaret’s Green in Ipswich. The manor was converted into a clubhouse and meeting rooms for the Comrades of the Great War.

The Manor was acquired from the Cobbold family by Arthur Churchman with an unveiling ceremony taking place on the 8th February 1919. The building was officially opened by Captain CBB Towse VC  chairman of the Grand Council of the Comrades of the Great War.

Other people of note who attended, were Frederick Turner chairman/commandant of the Ipswich branch COGW. John Ganzoni MP and Arthur Saunders VC. Frederick Turner donated labor and materials to the restoration of the manor house.

The Manor house had accommodation on the higher level for the steward and his family, a billiard room and library. The site was slowly developed adding an assembly hall to the side, now known as the Manor Ballroom.

Feuding factions from the different groups had made veterans uneasy with the lack of movement with reform to the pension system and lack of unity with the veteran community. Amalgamation of the 4 main groups, promoted by Lord Haig, Field Marshal and hero of the Great War, created “The British Legion.”

By August 1921 they held 3,500,000 members with subs of 6d per week. Lord Haig created a charity fund “Poppy Appeal” raising money to help the veterans and families.

The Comrades of The Great War group in Ipswich converted to the Legion as it would be more inclusive to the growing industrial workforce, including all classes, with unity in the plight of the ex-servicemen.

Frederick would later become Chairman of the Ipswich Branch of the British Legion.

Frederick Turner former chairman/commandant of the Ipswich branch COGW was now the British Legion Chairman for Ipswich, seen here with the Mayor of Ipswich Kavas Jamas Badshah at the British Legion summer fete Christchurch Park, 1925. 




1942 (1/1/1942) Lieutenant Colonel. Co-opted Member. Late Territorial Forces Reserve.

1945 January, Lieutenant Colonel, Suffolk Territorial Army Association. Co-Opted Member and Justice of the Peace.


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