Fred Speed was born on 29th July 1895 in the Runcorn registration district. He was the son of Thomas Speed (born Preston Brook) and his wife Alice (nee Taylor) who was born in Hatton. The parents were married in Liverpool in 1885.
The 1901 census recorded the family, who had eight children, as living off Chester Road in Preston on the Hill. The father was a coal dealer and the two eldest children, John D. and Peter J., were working respectively as a general labourer on the Ship Canal and a horseman on a farm. Lois (12), Oswald (11), Nora (9), Nellie (7), Fred (5) and Harriet (1) completed the family. All were born in Preston Brook.
Two years later Nora died.
A decade later there were only five children left at home and Harriet was the only one still at school. Fred was employed as a GPO messenger.
Sadly, their mother died in August 1916 and was buried at Daresbury on the 31st of that month. She was 54 years old.
By this time Fred had already served in the Great War for a few years, as records showed that he had been a Private in the 1st/4th Lancashire regiment for 4 years and 6 months by the end of 1918. His service number was 200545. He was in France between February 1915 and July 1916, and from July 1917 until July 1918. Nothing is known of his other periods of service. In August 1919 he transferred to the R.A.F. and was given another service number: 333505. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.
On New Year’s Eve 1927 Fred married Ethel Hargreaves, who was born in Warrington registration district in 1900. They were married at Warrington and would have four children: Fred (born 1928), Nancy (born 1928), Iris T. (born 1937) and Dorothy (born 1940).
The 1939 register showed the family living at 40, Larch Avenue in Newton-le-Willows. Fred (senior) was a male mental nurse.
His father Thomas died in 1942 aged 80 years of age.
Fred Speed died in 1973 at Warrington. He was 77 years old. His wife Ethel died on 25th January 1984, aged 83 years.