Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Sergeant Frederick John Hobson

Sergeant Frederick John Hobson

Male 1873 - 1917  (43 years)

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  • Name Frederick John Hobson 
    Prefix Sergeant 
    Born 23 Sep 1873  St. Pancras, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1914  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    store keeper 
    Residence 1914  69 South St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 18 Aug 1917  Near, Lens, , Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Honoured Hobson St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Hobson Street named in his honour 
    Honoured plaque 
    • A triple-plaque unveiling was held at Valour Place, Cambridge Armoury, on May 7. The Ontario Heritage Foundation erected a plaque in honor of Sgt . Frederick Hobson, VC (1873-1917). The WHS supported the family's request for this plaque. Otherplaques honor Lieut. Samuel Honey,VC, DCM, MM; and Capt . George F.Kerr, VC, MC, and Bar, MM. They were also honored with OHF plaques in thecounties in which they were born. These men were living in Galt when they enlisted.
    Medals Victoria Cross - WW1 
    Military WW1 
    Hobson,Fred-WW1.jpg
    Hobson,Fred-WW1.jpg
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-32325P 
    Buried Vimy Memorial, , Pas De Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I32325  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Jan 2024 

    Family Louise Alice Esther Moses,   b. CA 1884,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 12 Jun 1904  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 30 Jan 2024 
    Family ID F51867  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Frederick Hobson
    Frederick Hobson
    from Waterlo Region Hall of Fame

  • Notes 
    • During a strong enemy counter-attack a Lewis gun in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines, was buried by a shell, and the crew, with the exception of one man, was killed. Sergt. Hobson, though not a gunner, grasping the great importance of the post, rushed from his trench, dug out the gun, and got it into action against the enemy who were now advancing down the trench and across the open. A jam caused the gun to stop firing. Though wounded, he left the gunner to correct the stoppage, rushed forward at the advancing enemy and, with bayonet and clubbed rifle, single-handed, held them back until he himself was killed by a rifle shot. By this time however, the Lewis gun was again in action and reinforcements shortly afterwards arriving, the enemy were beaten off. The valour and devotion to duty displayed by this non-commissioned officer gave the gunner the time required to again get the gun into action, and saved a most serious situation.

      An extract from "The London Gazette," dated October 17, 1917

      __________________________

      Frederick Hobson

      Frederick Hobson was born in London, England on 23 September 1873. After seeing action with the British Army during the South African War (1899-1902), he came to Canada and settled in Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario. Being 41 years old when he went to the recruiting office shortly after the First World War began, Hobson gave his year of birth as 1875 so that he would be allowed to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

      On 18 August 1917 Sergeant Hobson was serving with the 20th Infantry Battalion on Hill 70, near Lens in France. During a German counterattack on the Canadian lines, a Lewis light machine gun in a forward position was buried by a shell explosion that killed all but one of the its crew. Hobson hurried to the site, dug out the Lewis gun, and got it back into action against the attacking enemy soldiers. When the gun jammed, Sergeant Hobson, though wounded, left the gunner to clear the stoppage and advanced alone to confront the Germans. Using his bayonet and rifle butt, he held them at bay until he was killed by a rifle shot. By that time the Lewis gun was again firing, and shortly after reinforcements arrived to defeat the counterattack.

      For these actions Sergeant Hobson was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.


      DHH - Victoria Cross Bios - Frederick Hobson. (2016). Cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 May 2016, from https://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/gal/vcg-gcv/bio/hobson-f-eng.asp

      ________________

      SERGEANT FREDERICK HOBSON VC
      1873-1917

      Born in England, Frederick Hobson immigrated to Canada in 1904 after serving in the South African War. He settled in Galt, Ontario with his family. In 1914, when war broke out, he enlisted with the 20th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his brave action at Hill 70, near Lens, France on August 18, 1917. While under attack, Frederick rushed from his trench, reactivated a buried Lewis gun, and engaged the advancing German soldiers single-handedly.

      Waterloo Region Museum \\ Inductees - G to I. (2016). Waterlooregionmuseum.com. Retrieved 5 May 2016, from https://www.waterlooregionmuseum.com/region-hall-of-fame/inductees-g-to-i/

  • Sources 
    1. [S157] Military - Canada - World War I - Attestation papers.
      Frederick Hobson Birth Date: 23 Sep 1873 Birth Location: London, England Relative: Louise Hobson Regiment Number: 57113

    2. [S2007] Military - Canada - War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death.
      Frederick Hobson Death Date: 18 Aug 1917 Rank: Sergeant Unit: 20th Battalion Service number: 57113 Cemetery Location: Vimy Memorial

      "Killed in Lotion."
      During a strong enemy counter-attack North Vest of Lens he dug out a Lewis gun which had been buried by a shell in a forward post in a communication trench and got the gun into action against the enemy until a jam caused it to stop firing. Though wounded he then rushed forward with rifle and bayonet and held the enemy back until killed by a rifle bullet.

    3. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Sep 1873 - St. Pancras, London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 12 Jun 1904 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - store keeper - 1914 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1914 - 69 South St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Aug 1917 - Near, Lens, , Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHonoured - Hobson Street named in his honour - - Hobson St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Vimy Memorial, , Pas De Calais, France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth