Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Bedford House Cemetery
The Cemetery contains 2194 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, (1826 from the UK; 218 Canadian; 122 Australian, 17 from New Zealand, 3 from South Africa and 8 from India) + 2 German.
In addition there are 3011 burials “Known Unto God“, but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them. There are also 69 Second World War burials (3 of which are unidentified).
The cemetery was established in the grounds of the destroyed Rosendael Chateau. The chateau’s moats remain in place and the drive leading to the chateau is intact today leading instead to the cemetery. The ruins of the chateau can be seen in the cemetery.
There is only one of the original 1st Battalion buried here.
Grave: Enclosure No.2. IV. A. 41. Killed in Action: 28 March 1915 Age: 25 Mentioned in Despatches: (London Gazette Issue 29072 published on the 16 February 1915. Page 1662)
Personal: Thomas was born 9th June 1889, the son of Sir John Meadows and Henrietta (née Kelsall) Frost (married June quarter 1884), of Upton Lawn, Chester and, according to Crookenden, a descendant of the original Miller of the Dee.
Thomas had two older brothers, John Meadows (born at Dee Lodge, Chester, 22nd April 1885) and Hugh Kelsall, born at Dee Lodge, 27th April 1886). Henrietta died in the December quarter 1906)
Thomas attended Charterhouse School (Gownboys House), between 1901 and 1907 and spent 3 years with the Charterhouse Cadet Corps. He went up to Clare College, Cambridge, from Charterhouse in October 1907 where he spent a further 3 years with the Cambridge University OTC, in the Cavalry Squadron. It was reported that his weak health prevented him from taking a great part in College life, though he had many friends in and out of Clare.
Sir John was Mayor of Chester from 1913 to 1919 and was knighted in 1918. (The Times, 3 June 1918) He was also responsible for the building of the Chester War Memorial which bears the inscription:
On enlistment at 21, Thomas’ height was 5’ 7” (1.70 m.) and he weighed 10 st. 13 lbs. (69.4 kgs.) with good hearing and vision and generally ‘fit’.
Probate, 12th May 1915, shows that Thomas left the balance of his estate (£14,245 5s 0d) divided 1/3 to his godson, Henry Frost, 1/3 to his brother, John Meadows Frost, Jnr. and 1/3 to his cousin, Leopold Grantley Norton, a Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry. Unfortunately his cousin had been reported ‘missing’ on 20th October 1914, and on application to the Court of Chancery, this part of his estate passed to his father, as next of kin. The sum of £14,245 5s, has an equivalent value of about £1,900,000 today (2023).
Military Service: Thomas was Commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment in 1911. The London Gazette (10th February 1911) states: “Cheshire Regiment: Second Lieutenant Thomas Lawrence Frost, from Unattached List Territorial Farce (University Candidate), to be Second Lieutenant. Dated llth February, 1911.”
His Medal Index Card shows he entered France with the 1st Battalion on 16th August 1914 as the Transport Officer attached to ‘D’ Company. This company fought on the right of the line during the Battle at Audregnies under Captains Rae-Jones and Rich.
[N.B. This was, of course Grandad Conway’s Battalion and Lt. Frost was one of his Officers]
On 22nd October 1914 after the death of Captain Mahony in hospital, Lieutenant Frost took over command of the Battalion. He was relieved by Captain Woods three days later, but assumed command again on 30th October and led the depleted Battalion, now in 15th Brigade, to Neuve Chapelle and the First battle of Ypres. On 4th November Captain J. A. Busfield, Cheshire Regiment, took over command of Battalion. Lieutenant Frost took over duties of Adjutant.
Captain Frost was killed in action by a sniper on 28th March 1915, and the Memorial in Chester Cathedral commemorates him especially. Captain Frost was the last surviving officer of the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, who had been serving since Mons.
… Thomas is also Commemorated on the Upton-by-Chester War Memorial.