One family remembers as Theresa May and Prince William travel to service to mark beginning of end of first world war

A postcard for her first birthday, containing an unkept promise, was all Freda ever had of the father she never met. “My very sweet darling, just a line to wish you all happiness and many many happy returns on your birthday. I shall be with you on your next one and then we shall have a lovely party for my little daughter. Be a good girl till I come back. From your loving Daddy with lots of kisses xxx.”

Lance Corporal Frederick Palmer, 32, born in Chingford, Essex, was serving in the 54th Canadian Infantry battalion during the first world war when the battle of Amiens broke out in August 1918. Hit by a shell burst on the first morning he died two days later from wounds to his head and elbow. His 19-year-old wife and his daughter, aged 18 months, were left to mourn for him in Canada, to where Palmer had migrated.

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