Bandboy Frederick William Hestermen (age 14) of the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment (near Youghal)
Date of incident: 31 May 1921
Sources: CE, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 14 June 1921; FJ, 1, 2, 3 June 1921; II, 1, 2, 14 June 1921; CCE, 4 June 1921; SS, 5 June 1921; Connaught Telegraph, 4 June 1921; Fermanagh Herald, 4 June 1921; Longford Leader, 4 June 1921; Nenagh News, 4 June 1921; Strabane Chronicle, 4 June 1921; Ulster Herald, 4 June 1921; Patrick J. Whelan’s WS 1449, 58-60 (BMH); ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 148; Kautt (2010), 178-79; Sheehan (2011), 130-31; irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014); Commonwealth War Graves Commission; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/youghal/youghal.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/youghal/hesterman/hesterman.html (accessed 8 Aug. 2014); http://1rhamps.com/hampshireR/Youghal.html (accessed 1 May 2016).
Note: This was one of the worst disasters to befall any unit of British troops during the whole of the Independence War. Born on 15 June 1906 at Poplar in London, Bandboy Hesterman died on Wednesday morning, 1 June, in the union hospital at Youghal. He was the last of the seven fatalities among members of the Hampshire regimental band. ‘A large piece of stone was . . . taken from his stomach, and one eye was destroyed, in addition to other injuries. The boy underwent a serious operation by a specialist, and his condition afterwards was improved, but a change for the worst set in yesterday.’ Hesterman’s age in this account was given as 16, but he appears to have been even younger. See II, 2 June 1921. He was just short of his fifteenth birthday. See CE, 3 June 1921.
He was one of the sons of the tailor Henry Hesterman and his wife Eliza, who in 1911 had seven children (five sons and two daughters) co-residing with them in Poplar. The future bandboy Frederick, their fourth son, was then aged 4. He was interred a decade later in the Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton in the same plot as his oldest brother Henry (aged 14 in 1911), who had been killed in the Great War. See http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/youghal/hesterman/hesterman.html (accessed 8 Aug. 2014).