No.3/8931, Private, Harry RUMSEY
Aged 18

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 16th August 1916

Harry Rumsey was born in Brandon on 21st October 1897 (school register) (Thetford Q4-1897 4B:360), son of William Dixon and Susan RUMSEY (née DIXON).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Town Street, Brandon with his father William RUMSEY [49] labourer born Lakenheath; his mother Susan [47]; sisters Augusta [22], Beatrice [14] and Ruth [5], brothers William [12]and Frederick [10] and cousins Emma RUMSEY [1]. All except his father were born in Brandon. No parentage for Emma is identified.

He was admitted (with Ruth and Emma) to Great Ashfield Voluntary School on 10th October, 1904 Harry and Ruth having previously attended Town Street, Brandon.

1911 census...Aged 14, errand boy, he was at Meadow Cottage, Barnham with his parents, brother William (labourer); sister Ruth and cousin Samuel RUMSEY [9] born Brandon, no parentage recorded. 3 of 10 siblings had died.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
From Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment we learn:-
After a fortnight's rest at Mericourt the battalion moved up to to line south west of Trones Wood, near Malz Horn Farm. Trenches too narrow to move in or pass along, the only communications trench to the rear used by two brigades and the French 418th Regiment..They were ordered to carry out an attack on the 16th in co-operation with the French. Zero hour was fixed to the unusual time of 5:30 pm. After a heavy bombardment the battalion moved forward on the heels of the barrage....On the right the attack was successful ,some 250 yards of Cochrane Alley, together with a party of men from the German 124th Regiment being captured. ; but on the left it was brought to a standstill by heavy machine gun fire, and at night the battalion withdrew to its original line.

The effort had cost the battalion 38 killed, of which only 7 have identified graves.

The Bury Free Press of 23rd September 1916 reported his death

Official intimation has been received by Mr. and Mrs. W.Rumsey of Meadow Cottage, Barnham, that their youngest son, Prvt Harry Rumsey, who was serving with the 2nd Suffolks, was killed in action on 16th August. He joined the Army in March 1914,and had been at the front for a year and nine months. Formerly he was employed on the North Far. Last December he was home on furlough for seven days.

Information from the report on his memorial service in the Bury Free Press the following week reveals that his military service early in 1914 was with the Special Reserves. Volunteering at the start of the war, he spent 3 months in Felixstowe before going to France

Harry Rumsey is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier and face 1C/2A

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