Frederick James MIDDLETON, Civilian. Died at St. John’s Hospital Chelmsford, having been fatally injured in an air raid at New Hall, Boreham. Aged 83

In 1891 Frederick, aged 30, was found by the census living with his wife and three children in Bethnal Green. He was a clerk on a railway. Fredrick's wife died in Bethnal Green in 1907.

By May 1943 Frederick was a patient at New Hall Emergency Hospital in Boreham. The hospital had been set up there in the summer of 1940 when elderly patients were transferred there from Suttons Institution at Hornchurch after the latter's requisition by the Air Ministry.

On 14th May 1943 Chelmsford suffered its heaviest German air raid of the war. During the raid the 270 bed New Hall Emergency Hospital was targeted and two high explosive bombs scored direct hits on the building and caused at least eleven fatalities. Seven died at the hospital, four others died later, among them was 83 year-old Frederick who succumbed to his injuries on 31st May 1943 in St. John's Hospital, Chelmsford. At the time his family home was Rothsay, Ongar Road in Brentwood.


Frederick James Middleton was born in Cambridgeshire and arrived in London by the time he was ten. He married before he was twenty in 1880 in London's East End and went on to have half a dozen children. He worked as a porter and clerk for the railways and was widowed in 1907. During the war he was one of many elderly patients looked after at New Hall Emergency Hospital in Boreham. The hospital was bombed during the 'Chelmsford Blitz' in May 1943 and Frederick was fatally injured. His home was then in Brentwood.

Frederick was born in 1860 Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, the son of the gas fitter James Middleton (born c1834) and Jane Middleton (nee Petchell) (born c1839). Frederick's siblings included Jane S. Middleton (born c1864), George Middleton (born c1866), Elizabeth Middleton (born c1868), Alice Middleton (born c1871), Alfred Middleton (born c1876), and Thomas Middleton (born c1878).

In 1871 the census recorded Frederick, aged ten, his parents and three siblings living at Mile End Old Town in London.

On 7th September 1880 Frederick, aged 19, married 17 year-old Mary Ann Knight at St. Peter's Church, Mile End Old Town. The following year the 1881 census listed Frederick, then aged 21, living with his wife and infant son at 13 Sommerford Street in Bethnal Green, London. He was a railway porter. The couple went on to have six children: Frederick James Middleton (born c1881), Mary Ann Alice Middleton (1885-1966), George Middleton (born c1891), Florence Sophia Middleton (born 1892), Elizabeth Middleton (born c1895), and Ivy Victoria Middleton (born 1901).