Frederick Maxwell Waite, born 4th May 1895, was the second son of Frederick Warwick Waite and his wife Jane (nee Simpson), his brother Norman Simpson Waite having been born in 1894. Both sons were born at Market Harborough where their father worked as a bank cashier. In 1901, the family were living at 20, Northampton Road, Little Bowden. Frederick attended Stoneygate School, London Road Leicester.
In January 1909 he moved to Oundle School, where he entered Grafton House. His Oundle record states that he was a keen member of the Officer Training Corps.
Officer Training Corps on parade outside the Great Hall of Oundle School 1913
On leaving Oundle, he was articled to Hopps and Bankart, Chartered Accountants of Leicester. In doing so, he was following a family tradition of making a career in finance. His grandfather Robert Waite had been a bank manager in Market Harborough while his father, had also started his career with a firm of chartered accountants before entering the banking profession. In 1911, his father was the manager of Barclays Bank in Leicester and the family was living at The Spinneys, Manor Road, Oadby.
The Spinneys Manor Road Oadby
In August 1914, Frederick Maxwell left his position with Hopps and Bankart to join the army and was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant on 11 August 1914 with the 1/4th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment.
The announcement of Fredrick’s commission in The London Gazette 9th Oct 1914
In November 1914, he was posted to Bishops Stortford and his battalion landed at Le Havre 3 March 1915.
In early June the battalion was billeted in bivouacs in the vicinity of Dranoutre. The area was subject to heavy artillery fire. Much excitement was caused when a Zeppelin flew over the frontlines.
Owing to the very wet conditions the front lines consisted of high breastworks rather than trenches.
The 1/4th Leicesters were separated for the Germans by approximately 40 metres of no-mans-land.
The War Dairy states that on 6 June at about 9.15 pm 2nd Lieutenant FM WAITE was wounded when standing at the south end of trench E1. He died the following day whilst being transferred to Lindenhoek Dressing Station.
Frederick died of a bullet wound on 7 June 1915. He was 20 years old.
An officer wrote,
He was always cheerful and was a real leader of men; he did not know what fear was; always a soldier and a gentleman, and beloved by all about him, ready for work or fun, each in its own place. His men would do anything for him and would follow him anywhere.
Frederick Maxwell Waite is one of fifty nine casualties buried at Packhorse Farm Shrine Cemetery, Wulverghem, Belgium.
Frederick Maxwell Waite is Remembered with Honour at Packhorse Farm Shrine Cemetery
Frederick Maxwell Waite is also remembered on the Stoneygate School memorial