Fred Fozzard

James Frederick Fozzard

There was no conscription until the final year of the War and Irene Collins’ father, James Frederick Fozzard (Fred), was always proud of the fact that he volunteered for ware service as soon as he reached the age of 18. He enlisted with the Kings own Yorkshire Light Infantry (the Koylis) and fought in the trenches until, early in 1918 he suffered a slight wound in the hand. The bullet was quickly removed but sadly he was found to be suffering from shell shock. He was sent to one of the newly built Ministry of pensions hospitals. They were ‘open’ hospitals; patients were allowed to stroll around the neighbourhood but they had to wear a uniform known as ‘hospital blues’. Fred told Irene afterwards that they were looked upon as deserters, likely to be a danger to the public. He was aware of people viewing him and his friends with suspicion and giving him a wide berth. He was subject to intermittent bouts of trauma for many years. During one of the intervals he married (11 April 1924) and Irene and her twin sister Jean were born 16 September 1925); but he was in hospital again when Jean died just five years later. He did not recover permanently until he was in his thirties. He was honourably discharged from the army at some unknown date.

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