The Morse family were all born in the villages around Shrivenham as James, Fred's father, moved around in his trade as an agricultural labourer. Fred was working as a Milk boy on a farm in 1901, when the family (two sisters, four brothers, including Frank) was living in Stratton St Margaret. The family later moved to Burycroft Row, Wanborough and were living there in 1911.
On 14th May 1907 Fred enlisted in the Wiltshire Regiment at Swindon claiming to be aged 19 years, 2 months. Unfortunately, he was found to be unfit for service a month later, due to being underweight (perhaps because he was underage). However, he persisted and was posted to India in December 1908 where he served for a year before being sent to South Africa. He stayed there for 3 ¼ years until March 1913, when he returned to the UK for 18 months before being posted to France on the 19th of September 1914.
On Sunday 18th October at Lille, he was seriously injured in the arm by shrapnel and sent to Mansfield Hospital in the UK on the 22nd. Although he was very ill, he was interviewed for the local newspaper alongside other wounded men. He described the attack on a wood nearby and how they were ambushed on entering the town. Fred told how his two of his brothers were in the same regiment and were also wounded.
Unfortunately, on the 3rd March 1915 he was discharged as he was found medically unfit for further military service with the brusque comment "right arm useless". The discharge form noted that he was "honest and hardworking and has a good knowledge of horses". He demobilised to Purton and died on 31st August 1916 aged 27. He is buried at St Andrew's Churchyard, Wanborough.