TUCK, Bertie Covill

No.G/18072, Private, Bertie Covill TUCK
Aged 21

7th Battalion, The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
formerly No 2043, Suffolk Yeomanry
Killed in Action on Saturday, 30th September 1916

Bertie Covill Tuck was born in Hengrave in 1895 (Thingoe Q2-1895 4A:792), son of Ellen TUCK. She later married William BLOWERS (Thingoe Q4-1899)

1901 census...Aged 5, he was in The Street, Hengrave with his grandparents Jess TUCK [58] domestic gardener born Stowlangtoft and Rebecca [59] (née COOTE) born Bardfield,Essex. At New Buildings, Hengrave were his mother [29] born Hengrave, step-father William BLOWERS [51] plumber born Lowestoft; step sister Alice BLOWERS [24] born Barton Mills and half sister Evelyn M BLOWERs (6 months) born Hengrave.

1911 census...Aged 15, shop assistant, he was in Hengrave with his grandparents Jess and Rebecca TUCK. His widowed mother; half-sister Eveleyn and half brothers Arthur BLOWERS [9] and Jesse BLOWERS [7] both born Hengrave) were still in Hengrave.

In 1915 he married Ellen Coates SPOONER [7-1-1887]in Ely. She was born Fenny Stratford, Bucks. She re married after Bertie's death to Frank R. HANNENT of 1 Fern Villas, Littleport.
His uncle Frederick Tuck died in France in 1916. see here

He enlisted in Ely when resident in Tuddenham.
He attested for the 2nd/1st Suffolk Yoemanry in Ely on 7th May 1915, he resided in Tuddenham, gave his age as 19 years 11 months, was 5 feet 7.5 inches (171.5 cm) tall, chest 35" to 38" (88.9 to 96.5 cm). Embodied that day, he was posted on 29th July to 3rd/1st Suffolk Yeomanry. He embarked at Folkestone on 27th August 1917 and in Boulogne was transferred to the 1st/4th Suffolks. On 7th September 1916 he was transferred to the 7th Battalion, The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) and was killed in action 23 days later on 30th September. Some information of his civilian identity is from his Army documents, but several pages are washed out.
His widow (in receipt of 13 s 9d (67p)per week Army pension.) moved to Littleport where she eventually married Frank Hannent.

It was well into the Battle of the Somme and the attempts to take the Schwaben Redoubt near Thiepval. On 30th September a German attack at dawn drove the East Surreys from the southern face and the West Kents from the western face of Schwaben Redoubt. A hand to hand fight ensued during which the East Surreys re-took the lost ground. The Germans held onto the western face. At 4pm the East Surreys attacked and took the northern face of the redoubt while the West Kents and two platoons of 7th Buffs failed to retake the west face. At 9pm the Germans attacked again and drove the East Surreys back to the entrance to Stuff Trench.
During this phase of the battle only one officer of the Queen's Own remained and he had been wounded three times. The CWGC figures show 34 killed on the 30th, 20 of them have no known grave.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Bertie Tuck is buried in Connaught Cemetery, grave 3:K:4

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