Lieutenant Frederick Joseph Whalen


Frederick Joseph Whalen, an insurance clerk, was born on 23 November 1888 at Woodford, Essex.

In February 1909 he enlisted in the Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary's Regiment), serving for five years. He re-enlisted with the regiment at Clapham Park days after the outbreak of war (No.1849) and was posted to A Squadron. On 20 December 1914 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was attached to the 27th Division as divisional cavalry.

On 25 September 1915 Whalen applied for a commission in the infantry. On 3 December he was made a 2nd lieutenant and was posted to the 9th (Reserve) Battalion, King's (Shropshire Light Infantry).

On 28 March 1916 he transferred to the Reserve Regiments of Cavalry and was posted to the North Irish Horse. He joined the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment in the field at Flesselles on 11 August and was posted to C Squadron. The regimental war diary mentions Whalen a number of times over the next six months.

The working party under Lt Whalen was not interfered with. (18 January 1917)

Usual working party under 2Lt Whalen no shelling reported. (27 January 1917)

2 Lt Whalen was in charge of Trench party. (12 February 1917)

Usual Trench Digging Party under Lieut Whalen. (7 March 1917)

Usual digging party under Lt Whalen. (15 March 1917)

Working party under 2 Lt Whalen went up to trenches 6.30 p.m. for night work. (31 March 1917)

On 24 March 1917 Whalen was formally transferred to the North Irish Horse. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its officers and men were transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Whalen joined the battalion in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 2 October. However on 16 November he left, returning to England to transfer to the Tank Corps. He joined the Tank Corps Depot at Wareham, Dorset, for training.

On 19 December 1917 he embarked for France, attached to J Battalion (later the 10th Battalion). However early in 1918 he became ill and, after some time in hospital, was evacuated to England for treatment. He saw no further active service in the war.

On 23 January 1919 Whalen was demobilised, and on 1 April 1920 relinquished his commission.

After the war he returned to his residence at Talbot House, Upper Westbourne Terrace, London and resumed work in insurance

On the outbreak of war in 1939 he enrolled in the Officers' Emergency Reserve.

Whalen died at St Ann's General Hospital, Tottenham, on 21 November 1963.