Fred Worrall (1890 – 1976): An Introduction

Fred Worrall was born in Manchester in 1890 on the eve of the 20th century. He was a well spoken and articulate, who had a great love for life, his family and work. He came from a large and hard working family.He worked in a few jobs before enlisting in the 1st Manchester pals, 16th Battalion, in which he was sent off to war in 1915 to fight in France.

I have chosen to write and research Fred Worrall because he writes fluently about a life full of adventure and excitement. By the late 19th and early 20th century, the level of education and literacy were similar to those today. Fred Worrall’s memoir disproves the popular misconception that the working class in the late 19th and early 20th century were illiterate and unable to articulate as well as people today, and of the higher classes of the time.

Another reason I have chosen to write about Mr. Worrall is my interest in war journals and war stories, Fred’s memoir is based mainly on his experiences on the front line during World War One. Most of the well-known war memoirs were written by middle or upper-class combatants. I have found it hard to find World War One working class memoirs which are not fictional. Fred’s memoir is a genuine account from the trenches, in which he writes about what the conditions were like, and what it was like both fighting in the trenches and receiving rest in a neaby village.

Another thing I have found with Mr. Worrall’s memoirs is his sense of workmanship, sincerity and appreciation. When you begin to read Mr. Worrall’s memoir, you automatically pick up a sense of his appreciation for everything in his life leading up to the writing of his memoir. He is very appreciative of his family, especially his parents because he realises they have worked so hard for him and his siblings. He is also very appreciative of his jobs, saying that his manager at the Soliciter’s still paid his wages during his war service. This struck me as interesting, as despite the hardships that people suffered at the time, he was thankful that people worked hard for him. It struck me that Mr. Worrall carries symbolised the British wartime spirit that was later pushed during World War Two; Chin up, and carry on.

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