Frederick Youens VC (regt no 9019) was a 2nd Lieutenant in the East Surrey Regiment and the Durham Light Infantry 13th Battalion.
He was serving with the latter when he died on the 7th of July 1917 near Hill 60 Ypres, Belgium. He was buried at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground. For his actions on that day he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
GAZETTE ISSUE 30215 reads: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned:- Temporary Second Lieutenant Frederick Youens, late Durham Light Infantry. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. On 7th July 1917 near Hill 60, Belgium, while out on patrol this officer was wounded and had to return to his trenches to have his wound dressed. Shortly afterwards a report came in that the enemy were preparing to raid our trenches. Second Lieutenant Youens, regardless of his wound, immediately set out to rally the team of a Lewis Gun, which had become disorganised owing to heavy shell fire. During this process an enemy’s bomb fell on the Lewis Gun position without exploding. Second Lieutenant Youens immediately picked it up and hurled it over the parapet. Shortly afterwards another bomb fell near the same place; again Second Lieutenant Youens picked it up with the intention of throwing it away, when it exploded in his hand, severely wounding him and also some of his men. There is little doubt that the prompt and gallant action of Second Lieutenant Youens saved several of his men’s lives and that by his energy and resource the enemy’s raid was completely repulsed. This gallant officer has since succumbed to his wounds.
He was born at 11 Gordon Road, High Wycombe, Bucks on the 14th of August 1892. The 1901 Census lists his mother as Lizzie Youens, aged 33 and his father as Vincent Youens, a basketmaker, aged 33. At that time he has 3 brothers and 4 sisters. At the time of his death in 1917 his mother, Mrs L Youens, was living at 42 Luton Road, Chatham. Before the war, Youens worked as a teacher at St Peter’s School in Rochester.
Frederick’s page on Every Man Remembered can be found here.
1901 Census: Class: RG13; Piece: 1346; Folio: 76; Page: 50
Ancestry.com. 1901 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
1911 Census: Class: RG14; Piece: 7873; Schedule Number: 226
Ancestry.com. 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Ancestry.com. UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Victoria Cross Medals. East Sussex, England: Naval and Military Press.
Dr Alison Robinson, 2016