No.14806, Private, Tom JEFFREY
Aged 22

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 8th August 1918

Tom Jeffrey was born in Great Wratting (Risbridge Q3-1896 4A:729), son of George and Sarah Ann JEFFREY (née BURTON). The surname can be JEFFERY

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Withersfield Road, West Wratting with his father George JEFFREY [37] farm labourer; his mother Sarah [37]; brothers Arthur [15] farm labourer, Walter [12] and Charles [9]; sister Lizzie [2]. All were born in West Wratting.

1911 census...Aged 14 a farm labourer, he was at 92 School Terrace, Great Thurlow with his parents; brothers Arthur (farm labourer), Walter and Charles (both bricklayer's labourers)and Harry [6] born Great Thurlow. 2 of the 8 siblings had died.

He enlisted in Haverhill. It is more than likely that he was in the 8th Suffolks earlier as he arrived in the BEF the same day as that battalion. The 11th Battalion did not arrived in France until 9th January 1916.

From Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" and the battalion war diary we learn:-
The 7th Suffolks were in the Le Sart sector (west outskirts of Merville)
The War Diary :-
At 2am battn moved to assembly point at 36A.k.20.a.?? to form an advanced guard to the 61st Division, as reports had been received that the enemy had withdrawn his line.
6:20 am, Bn proceeds over the top to get in touch with the enemy, going through the 2/6th R.WARWICKS who had occupied the enemy front line. LE SART occupied without resistance at 7:20 am. "D" Coy and "A" Coy on the right established a line approx K.33.b.5.2. - K.27.d.7.7. "C" Coy and "B" Coy on the left held the line approx K.27.d.7.7. - K.28.a.2.6.- K.21.b.6.7 LOXTON FARM was occupied by the enemy but was found to be held too strongly for attack without artillery assistance. 7 pm new line heavily shelled for 7 minutes, touch was kept with enemy throughout the day, but he did not retire further. No counter-attack by the enemy.

CWGC records show 10 of the Battalion killed, of which only 4 have an identified grave.

36A.K.33.b.5.2. is the lowest end on the line

photo: Rodney Gibson

Tom Jeffrey is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, panel 3

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

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