Nedwell “Fred” Wareing wasborn in Lonsdale, RI on October 19, 1894. He was the second of ten children (and the oldest son) of Richard Wareing and Flora (Ainsworth) Wareing, both of whom had emigrated from England and married in 1892. Seeking employment in the cotton mills that once flourished there, the Wareings came to reside in New Bedford, MA sometime between 1903 and 1904.
Fred Wareing and his younger brother Joseph earned something of a reputation as “hellraisers” in New Bedford in the years leading up to World War I. After the United States entered the war in 1917, however, both were drafted into the United States Army, with Fred being killed in action and Joe surviving the war despite being seriously wounded.
Although Fred Wareing was not married and without children when he was killed in action, his memory was kept alive by his family, particularly by his younger brother Richard, who had idolized his other brother. Richard gave the middle name “Frederick” to his oldest son in honor of Fred and well into the 1980’s frequently spoke of his brother having “fought with Sergeant York.” The picture of Fred Wareing displayed on this website was kept by his younger brother Richard until his death in 1988, at which point it passed to other family members.
Fred’s death was particularly hard on his mother Flora (below left), who traveled to France with Fred’s older sister Elizabeth Wareing (below right) in 1930 as part of the Gold Star Mothers program. They returned to the United States in 1932 via LeHarve after having visited and being photographed at Fred’s grave.
On the night before she learned her son had been killed in action, Flora is said to have had a dream in which Fred appeared to her in uniform and said “it’s alright ma.”