MANN, John

believed to be

No.20762, Private, Frederick John MANN
Aged 22

6th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry
formerly No.32991, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Sunday, 31st March 1918

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" has Frederick John Mann born in Soham, resident in Ashley, hence the belief that this is the John Mann on the Ashley plaque.

Frederick John Mann was born in Soham (Newmarket Q4-1885 3B:510), baptised in Soham in 1895, son of Frederick James and Harriett MANN (née SEAL) of Fordham Road, Soham.

1901 census...Aged 5, as John Mann, he was at Cotterells Lane, Elsworth with his father Frederick MANN [27] corn miller, born Soham; his mother Harriet [32] born Soham, brothers Thomas [3] and Ernest [2] both born in Denver, Norfolk.

1911 census...Aged 15, now Frederick James, a farm labourer, he was at The Mill, Ashley, with his father, brothers Thomas Edwin Seal MANN and Ernest Edward Seal MANN and Arthur Stanley MANN[9] and Harriett Nancy MANN [7] both born in Elsworth. There had been 8 children but 3 had died. His mother was staying with her Soham born parents Dewey and Mary Ann SEAL at Hasse Road, Soham.

In Newmarket, in 1914, he married Lydia Jane POLLINGTON, later of Victory Lane, Newmarket

By the time of his death his parents had moved again, to 81, King's St., Plymouth.

On the strength of this it can be assumed that the Tom MANN on the memorial plaque is
his younger brother Thomas Edwin Seal MANN who died on HMS Africa in 1916 and is buried in Scotland

He enlisted in Newmarket
from Capt. V.E. Inglefield, (1921) 'The History of the Twentieth (Light) Division'. Nisbet and Son, London.:-
"The line held on the morning of the 31st was substantially the same as that taken up on the night of the 29th/30th. Demuin, however, was in the hands of the enemy and the 61st Brigade was just west of the town, with a bridge-head established between Demuin and Hangard. On the right the 60th Brigade was in touch with the 8th Division. French troops were in Moreuil. All was quiet until midday, when the enemy advanced against the French at Moreuil and the 8th Division in Cavalry Wood. A heavy barrage fell on the Line of the 20th Division, and the attack gradually spread northwards along the whole Divisional Front. The 8th Division was driven back, leaving the right flank of the 60th Brigade in the air. The 12th Kings Royal Rifle Corps. (KRRC) and the 12th Rifle Brigade (RB) were attacked from the right and rear, 'D' company of the 12th KRRC being almost annihilated. The 6th KSLI were ordered up from a position south-east of Domart to protect the right flank, and succeeded in stopping the enemy's advance for a time and in causing him severe loss.
The flank was again turned, however, and the 59th and 60th Brigades were forced to swing round to a line south of the Roye-Amiens road, facing south. Here they held on until 4pm, when the enemy had again worked round to their right. The Division then fell back, for the last time, to a line just south of the river Luce. Brig-General Duncan then asked the cavalry for assistance. Realising that the real danger lay on his right flank, as soon as he saw the cavalry advancing from the directions of Domart, he ordered what was left of the 6th KSLI (about 120 men) and the remnants of the 11th Durham Light Infantry (DLI) to support the attack. Details of various units were collected and placed south-east of Domart. The action of the cavalry succeeded in securing the right flank, and at 8pm Brig-General Duncan offered the 6th KSLI and the 11th DLI to the cavalry commander, Brig-General Bell-Smythe, under whose orders these two battalions served until the Division was relieved.
The fighting in the area continued for many days, there was little chance of recovering the bodies of the dead. As a consequence, many bodies found during the subsequent British offensive in the autumn could not be identified. The Pozières Memorial stands in the centre of the 1916 Somme battlefield although the 14,000 names of the missing inscribed upon it all date to the 1918 battles conducted over a much wider area. Of the 11 that fell with Frederick that day, 3 have known graves.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Frederick John Mann is commemorated on the Pozières memorial, panel 60
and apparently on the Newmarket war memorial as Frederick J Mann
and on the roll of honour in St Mary's Church, Newmarket

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details