Army Veterinary Corps SE/22505
Fred was born in April 1883 at Dilhorne in Staffordshire, the son of Thomas Thornton, a groom, and his wife Annie. He had five siblings, Jessie, Harry, Alice, Kathleen and Mary. On leaving school he became a groom and in 1901 was working in Chesterfield. On 12 July 1910 he married Alice Selina Jones from Duston, Northampton and he and his wife moved to Manor Road, Spratton. The thatched house where they lived is now Grade 2 Listed. His occupation was stud groom and coachman and he came to Spratton to work in that capacity for Sir Mervyn Manningham-Buller at Broomhill, one of the large houses in the village.
He joined the Royal Veterinary Corps and made good use of his experience with horses. He went to France with the British Expeditionary Force and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.