Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Frederick Charles Bloomfield Trench - An Officer and a Private

Limavady's Trench Memorial Flute Band was formed in 1919. It was named after Frederick Charles Bloomfield Trench the second son of Henry Bloomfield Trench and his wife Jessie Maria Rawlins of Huntingdon, Portarlington, King's County. Trench was born on 23rd April 1878. On 27th March 1899 he was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant in the Londonderry Artillery, (Southern Division). On 29th July 1905 he was to marry Catherine Anne Swetenham Lecky the daughter of Sir Thomas Lecky of Foyle Hill Londonderry and Greystone Hall Limavady who had been mayor of Londonderry in 1886/87. Trench and his wife were to live at Greystone Hall.


Having been an officer in the militia Trench clearly saw it as his duty to volunteer for service upon the outbreak of war in 1914. Whilst at Finner Camp in Ballyshannon Co Donegal he applied for a wartime commission on 23rd September 1914. He was to be gazetted as a temporary Major on 23rd November 1914 and was the first commander of "C," Company of 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was subsequently attached to 12th (Reserve) Bn Inniskilling Fusilliers.

In the early hours of 12th October 1915 he is reported as having been drunk in the officers mess and ordering drinks to be supplied to him after the mess had closed. He gave an order to a Second Lieutenant by the name of Taylor to turn out four horses which the Lieutenant declined to do in view of Trench's state of inebriation. As a result of this conduct G. H. Rowell, Br. General , Commanding 15th Reserve Infantry Brigade Ulster Division applied for Trench to be tried by General Court Martial . There is more than a suggestion in the Court Martial papers that Trench's conduct had been unsatisfactory for some time. If it had not been Rowell opines that he would have dealt with the matter himself. On 13th November 1915 Rowell had to advise Head Quarters, Irish Command, Parkgate, Dublin that Trench, who was under open arrest awaiting the sentence of the General Court Marshall held on 11th/12th November, had broken his arrest and quitted barracks between the hours of 6.30 and 8.20 pm. The Provost Marshals of Dublin and Belfast were advised of the situation as were the police at Larne, Greencre and Limavady. Trench's Court Martial had been held at Newtownards. He was charged with drunkenness and disobeying a lawful command given by a superior officer, (failing to attend a District Court Martial at Lurgan to which he had been detailed). He pleaded not guilty to both charges but was found guilty and sentenced to be dismissed from His Majesty's Service.

Trench's story does not end there. His sense of honour caused him to enlist as a private in the 1st Btn London Regiment (London Scottish) under the name of Bloomfield. He gained promotion to the rank of L/Cpl and died in action on 1st July 1916. His body was never recovered. His death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Trench's widow married Rev J G MacManamy on 27th January 1926.

1 comment:

  1. A good account of one of my great-aunt, Hon. Georgina Mary Amelia Bloomfield's grandsons. Consequently one of my remoter cousins. Thank you for the sacrifice made in this year of remembrance. Beatrice C. Potter,