Single, Frederick Alexander

Captain / 2nd Dragoon Guards

1888 - 1918

Frederick Alexander Single was born 6 January 1888, the son of Frederick and Isabel Single of Wimbledon.

He came to Winchester College from Mr Wilkinson's school at Eastbourne in September 1901. He was in A House, Chernocke, and represented his house in gymnastics and rowing. He was also a member of the Debating Society.

Frederick left Winchester in the summer of 1906 and went up to Exeter College, Oxford. He passed into the Army in 1908, joining the 2nd Dragoon Guards the following year.

He joined his regiment in Belgium on 30 September 1914 when they were ordered to move to a secret location, eventually reaching Bethune on 11 October. He served with conspicuous gallantry in the First and Second Battles of Ypres. In September 1916 he was awarded the M.C. for rallying a party, not under his command, after the failure of an attack: on this occasion he was wounded. In November 1917 at the Battle of Cambrai he led the leading squadron of his brigade through the German lines to within three miles of Cambrai and undertook the reconnaissance of the village of Noyelles dismounted and alone. In March 1918 he was on short leave in the south of France. Hearing of the great enemy offensive he immediately hurried back and took over the command of his squadron. He joined the scratch brigade formed by Brigadier General G.G. S. Carey (College 1879-1883) to block the ten mile gap laid open to Amiens by the retirement of the Fifth Army. Captain Single was by now in command of several units of infantry as well as his own squadron: and behind them were no reserves. At mid-day on the 30 Mar the Germans launched a violent attack against the section of this improvised line held by Captain Single's detachment. At that point the enemy was driven back, but an adjoining unit broke and the whole position was endangered. Realising the responsibility resting upon him, he immediately sprang on to the parapet and out into the open and stood there rallying the men. He fell mortally wounded, but raising himself up on the parapet, continued to call to the men, urging them to stand fast. He died shortly afterwards. The line held for another forty-eight hours, by which time French divisions had arrived in support. 

Single was buried in Grave I.D.16 of the Namps-au-Val British Cemetery in Amiens.

He married Miss Dorothy Marsh in 1915.

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