No.24830, Private, John CATCHPOLE
Aged 25

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Saturday, 28th April 1917

John Catchpole was born in 1892 in Barnham (Thetford Q2-1892 4B:385), son of Henry and Rosanna CATCHPOLE (née RICE).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was in Barnham with his father Henry CATCHPOLE [45] carter on farm; his mother Rose [42] born Riddlesworth, Norfolk; brothers William [20] horsekeeper and Charles [12]. All except his mother were born in Barnham. From the 1891 census, he also had sisters Alice N [1883] and Maud M [1885] and a brother Harry E [1889].

1911 census...Aged 19, a warrener, he was at Euston Road, Barnham with his parents (father now a warrener); sister Alice Nellie [28] born Barnham; brother Charles (farm labourer) and grandmother Ellen CATCHPOLE [86] born Thetford.

In 1916 he married Florence Daisy BAKER.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
The action where he was killed was the attack on the chemical works at Rouex. from Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" and the war diary:-
28th April - 4.25 a.m. Barrage commenced, 4:27 a.m. battalion advanced but was held up and driven back by very considerable hostile machine gun fire from a trench which had been entirely missed by our barrage. What was left of the battalion formed up in our front line.
5:30 a.m. Major Tuck went up to our front line to reorganise our defences. In the front line were 5 officers, 300 other ranks (including 2 officers and 60 other ranks from 16th Royal Scots.
9:45 a.m. The enemy counter attacked from Roeux, capturing MOUNT PLEASANT WOOD and part of CEYLON TRENCH.
10 a.m. All communications with the front line were cut. The enemy driven out of CEYLON TRENCH and MOUNT PLEASANT WOOD.
10 p.m. The battalion moved out of front line trench & support line to enable the heavy artillery to bombard the chemical works. They moved back into the front line at midnight.

On this horrific day for the 11th Suffolks, CWGC records 106 killed of which 82 have no known grave.

The Bury Free Press of 2nd February 1918 reported:-

It is with much regret that we have to announce the death of Prvt John Catchpole, of the 11th Suffolk Regiment, youngest son of Mr.and Mrs. H.Catchpole, of Barnham. Prvt Catchpole was reported as missing in April 28th 1917 and his wife and parents had hoped he might be a prisoner of war, but on Wednesday week the official news was received by his wife to the effect that her husband was killed in action, on or about the 28th April,1917. To his parents and to his wife we extend our deepest sympathy. Prvt Catchpole had only been married three weeks before going to France, and served 11 months in the trenches. He was of a very quiet disposition, and was greatly respected. He was a prominent member of the Quoit and Football Clubs. Prvt Catchpole gave his life for his country at the early age of 25 years.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

John Catchpole is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, bay 4

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