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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


09 December 2016

Brother and Sister, Cadet Lance Corporal Megan and Cadet Lance Corporal Isaac Neeson (below), present the life and rise through the ranks of Limavady man, Frederick Charles Bloomfield Trench.

Frederick Trench was born on 23 April 1878, the Second son of Henry and Jessie Trench.He grew up in the town of Portarlington, King’s County and moved to Limavady, County Londonderry, around the age of 20 years old.

On 29th July 1905, he married Catherine Lecky, the only daughter of Sir Thomas Lecky – Mayor of Londonderry. Thomas Lecky gave his daughter and her new husband Greystone Hall, Limavady to live in.

Trench volunteered for service at the outbreak of the war. He was gazetted as a temporary Major on 23rd November 1914 and hewas the first Company Commander of C Coy 10th Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was subsequently attached to the 12th (Reserve) Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The Royal inniskillingfusiliers was an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army which was in existence from 1881 until 1968. It raised 13 Battalions and was awarded 46 Battle Honours and 8 Victoria Crosses, losing 5,890 men during the course of World War One.

The War seemed to have a significant effect on Trench. In the early hours of the 12th October 1915 he was reported drunk. He attempted to order drinks even after the mess closed. He gave an order for four horses to be turned out to a 2nd Lieutenant Taylor. Taylor declined due to Trench’s inebriated state. As a result of this conduct G. H. Rowell, Commanding 15th Reserve Infantry Brigade Ulster Division applied for Trench to be tried by General Court Martial.

Left, a surviving photo of Trench and right, the Flute Band in Limavady created in his honour.

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. On 13th November 1915, Rowell had to then advise Headquarters Irish Command, Parkgate, Dublin, of Trench’s ‘escape’. The Provost Marshals of Dublin and Belfast were advised of the situation.

After quitting barracks in Newtownards, Frederick Charles Bloomfield Trench disappeared.

It was later discovered that a Lance Corporal Charles Bloomfield from Tipperary, who had lost his life at Thiepval Wood on the first day of the battle of the Somme, was actually Trench.

After disappearing from barracks in Newtownards, he had enlisted as a private into 1st Battalion the City of London (London Scots) Regiment. He gained the rank of Lance Corporal before giving his life in the battle of the Somme.He joined under the alias of Charles Bloomfield, claiming he was from Tipperary.

Unfortunately, Trench’s body was unable to be recovered due to ongoing fire by the German forces.
However, his name is inscribed into the Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier 9C, Face 13C.
Trench was also remembered in the 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers report on the attack on the Schwaben Redoubt.