SOUTHGATE, Archibald William

No.19619, Private, Archibald William Southgate
Aged 19

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on/since Wednesday, 11th April 1917

Born in 1897 (4th qtr Bury St.Edmunds 4a:8219) son of William George and Harriett SOUTHGATE (née HAZELWOOD)

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at 28 St Andrews Street South, Bury St.Edmunds with his father William G SOUTHGATE [35]baker born Moulton; his mother Harriett [32] born Great Barton; sisters Florence K [0] and Lily V [7]. All the children were born in Bury St.Edmunds.

1911 census...Aged 13, he was still at 28 St Andrews Street with his parents; sisters Lily and Violet [3] sister Florence PALMER and her son William (under 1]) and grandfather George HAZELWOOD [70] born Great Barton.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.

Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" has:
The 2nd Suffolks, on 11th April 1917 at short notice and no preparation, were ordered to take part in an attack on Guemappe. The objective could not be seen until an intervening ridge had been crossed and at first troops mistook the buildings on Les Fosse farm for the village. As a result of enfilading machine gun fire from the right, everyone edged off a little to the right, advancing with their tin helmets titled over to the right as if marching in a hail storm. Progress was made, but our men, with totally inadequate artillery support- being unable to cross the long forward slope to cover, swept as it was by a tornado of bullets from front and flank, crept into shell holes as best they could. They witnessed a gallant but fruitless mounted attack on Monchy-le-Preux by the 3rd Cavalry Division. Two or three more attempts were made to gain more ground but without success and they were forced to consolidate where they lay... movement was almost impossible, preventing communications and worse, the collection of casualties in spite of gallant services of the stretcher bearers.
In the afternoon a fresh battalion attacked but with no more success and the day wore on until darkness intervened and about midnight a relief was carried out and the battalion withdrew to trenches near Tilloy. Thus the successes of the battalion on the opening day of the Scarpe on April 9th was followed 2 days later by a complete failure.

There had been 124 casualties, of which 33 were killed, 24 have no known grave.

photo C.W.G.C.

Archibald Southgate is commemorated on the Arras Memorials, Faubourg d'Amiens bay 4

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