Major Frederick Hugo OBE MC

Born Hugo Friedrich Eichenbrenner. son of Carl Hugo Eichenbrenner, both he and his brother changed their surnames to "Hugo". Their father was born in Germany on 11 Apr 1853 at Evangelisch, Heilbronn, Neckarkreis, Württenberg. Their parents married in London in 1876.

The name change seems to have been done before 1892, when his father had a receiving order against him

And his sister married as "Hugo" in 1903. However his father died as an Eichenbrenner in 1920.

He was in "Interpreter & Intelligence Corps" at one point. And worked as Deputy Assistant Director Railway Traffic. The family seem to have had a railway bent, a MIC for his brother Charles shows him as Lt , Railway Transport Establishment. The RTE was essentially the framework organisation that ensured the smooth running of the military rail system and provided , amongst other things RTO's , Railway Transport Officers to oversee sections of the organisation. Frederick Hugo's MIC shows his brother Charles as his next of kin.

The story of his life ties together with the sale of his medals in 2011 by a descendant, Thomas Kerr, of one of his sisters. A Kerr married both Bertha (Abram Kerr in 1806) and Matilda (Thomas Kerr in 1803)

1876 His parents marry in London

1881 census The family are lodgers at 2 Clapton Villas in Hackney. He has not yet been born, and his father is "Carl" from Heilbronn, Württenberg

1886 Oct 23 Born London Hugo Friedrich Eichenbrenner. His birth was registered in the Strand, but was omitted from the registrars list, but added by hand later.

1891 census living at 28 Lascotts Rd, Tottenham. The family surname is given as Eichenbrenner. He is called by the diminutive "Fritz"

1892 Jan 15. A receiving order was taken out against their father .

1901 census hugo

1901 census living with his parents at 2 Palmerston Crescent, Southgate. His father is a Language Teacher

1911 census living with his parents at Sandford House, the Green, Southgate. His father is a publ;isher of educational books, and the two sons are working in the business, Charles running the publishing and Fritz running the language school.

1914 Sep 29. Landed in France. By now he appears to be "Fredrich Hugo" rather then the more difficult "Hugo Friedrich Eichenbrenner" His MIC shows 1st King George's Own Bengal Sappers & Miners, attached to the Secunderabad Cavalry Bridage

Indian Expeditionary Force A was sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force in France where it formed the Indian Cavalry Corps. Despatch from India was delayed by the activities of the German raiders Emden and Konigsberg operating in the Indian Ocean, and by the slow speed of the transport vessels. Lahore Division began landing at Marseilles on 26 September 1914, but there were further delays while the troops were re-armed with the latest pattern rifle, and the supply train could be improvised, using tradesmens' vans procured locally.

1st King George's Own Bengal Sappers & Miners, were part of this movement of troops . The Sappers and Miners of the Indian Army were the backbone of the engineering effort in India and represented the equivalent of the Royal Engineers in the British Army. Officered by Royal Engineers, the Sapper and Miner field companies provided the skilled engineer effort for the army in the field. Their history shows La Bassée 1914, Festubert 1914 '15, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, France and Flanders 1914–15, before going to the Middle East.

His MIC shows an interpreter at some point.

1915 Feb 13 Joined RTE

1916 Mar 18. Graded as Staff Capt while RTO

1917 Jan 6. To be W A W of R T

1918 Oct 15. T./Capt. (T./Maj.) Frederick Hugo, MC, Spec. List (Deputy Assistant Director Railway Traffic). (M.C. gazetted 15th October, 1918.) It was originally gazetted to "FitzHerbert Hugo" then corrected. An interesting Freudian slip for the "Fritz" that he had been known as until 1914.

T./Capt. (T./.Maj.) FitzHerbert Hugo, Spec. List. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During an enemy air raid a direct hit exploded a large dump of ammonal, setting fire to some trucks near a quantity of ammunition. He at once went to the scene, and thanks to his clever organisation and fine example to those working under him, the fire was extinguished and a serious disaster averted.

1919 Jun 3. Hugo, Capt. (T./Maj.) FitzHerbert, M.C., Spec. List. gazetted OBE

1919 Feb 27. Influenza

1919 Apr 22. The undermentioned relinquish their commns. on completion of service: Temp. Capt. F. Hugo, O.B.E., M.C., and is granted the rank of Maj. . (oddly this was only announced in LG of 26 Nov 1920) His service file shows demobilization 21 Apr 1919.

1920 Jul 30. Arrives in UK from Marseilles. He is a publisher who has been living in Czechoslovakia . See obituary below.

1920 Oct 22.. Joined the ADRIC with RIC no 79333, ADRIC no 820. Posted to C Coy

1920 Nov 28. Died in Kilmichael ambush . Home address: Grove House, Southgate. Buried at Southgate. Ex Major Royal Engineers & Indian Army.

1920 Dec 4. Buried Southgate Cemetery which is in Waterfall Road. He is buried with 2 other persons who I believe are his parents. One of the addresses given is Grove House, Southgate. The grave number is 1847 F.

The address on the MIC is c/o his brother Charles, and Frederick Hugo leaves no money, so must have been in straightened circumstances

probate hugo

1921 Apr. 21. His mother Matilda Hugo got £2000 compensation from the court for his death

His father had predeceased him and his mother died as Mathilda Hugo in 1926.

2011 Mar 6. A Dorset paper reports the sale of his medals for £3500. Medals found among toys in an old chest have sold for £3,500 at auction. He was an ancestor of the medals' last owner, Thomas Kerr. These medals, which included a Military Cross and OBE, were just randomly mixed up with all the contents of a chest. Thomas Kerr must have played with them along with his other toys when he was a boy. Major Frederick Hugo was in the Intelligence Corps and served as an interpreter. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In an enemy air raid, a bomb exploded close to a large munitions dump. Putting his own life at risk, Hugo went to the scene and oversaw the extinguishing of the fire, thus averting a disaster.