AMEY, Jack

No.2543, Private, Jack AMEY (Percy AMEY on memorial)
Aged 19

"C" Coy., 1st/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of Illness/Wounds on Tuesday, 12th October 1915

Percy John 'Jack' AMEY was born in Haverhill in March 1896 (Risbridge Q2-1896 4A:732) 9th of 10 children of James and Alice AMEY (née DILLISTONE). He was the 4th generation to live in the town, the 1st, his great grandfather Thomas, a weaver, had come from Birdbrook.

His parents had married at St.Mary's on 1st February 1878 and set up home in Mill Road, a short walk from his grandparents in Chuantry Croft and his work as a booking clerk at D.Gurteen and Sons. Around 1890 they moved to newly built Broad Street,where they remained as their large family grew up

1901 census... Aged 5, Percy John AMEY was at 20 Broad Street, Haverhill with his father James AMEY [46] commercial clerk; his mother Alice [44] born Sturmer; sisters Agnes M [22], a trousers machinist, Grace B [16], Lillie A [12] and Hilda F [7]; brothers Cecil J [9] and Frank C [2]. All except his mother were born in Haverhill.

1911 census...Aged 15, a junior clerk, he was still at 20 Broad Street, Haverhill with his parents; sisters May [Agnes M] and Hilda; brothers Cecil (a printer) and Frank (still at school).

Percy, known by his friend and family as Jack, would have attended the local Board school and the newly built West End Congregational Church where he was an active member of the Sunday School, hence the H.D.S.S.U. memorial plaque (Haverhill District Sunday School Union). Leaving school he followed in his father's footsteps and became a junior clerk at Gurteens.
A keen sportsman he became a prominent member of United F.C. gaining a medal from the Halstead and District Junior League. He was a member of the victorious 1912-193 Rovers Reserves team which won the South Suffolk League.

The pension card gives his mother's address in 1918 as at 81 Lothair Road, Finsbury Park, London

He enlisted in Haverhill in September 1915, apparently as Jack AMEY. Posted to Watford in May 1915, the battalion then sailed from Liverpool aboard the S.S "Aquitainia" on 30th July 1915, to Mudros, transhipped and eventually landing at "A" Beach, Suvla Bay on 19th August. They were part of 163rd Brigade of 54th Division.

He died from illness at Kasr-el-Aini Hospital in Cairo. A report published in the South West Suffolk Echo on October 30th 1915 read:-
It is our duty to record this week the death of yet another Haverhill soldier,this time in the person of Pte. P.J.Amey, 1/5 Suffolk Regt. He was suffering from enteric fever and pneumonia, and was confined in Nasrieh School Military Hospital, Cairo, Egypt, where he passed away on the 12th inst. Pte. Amey was only 19 years of age last March, and joined the Army shortly after the outbreak of hostilities - some twelve months ago. Prior to enlistment he was employed in the book keeping office of Messrs. Gurteen and Sons factory, where he proved himself a very willing worker, and was one who gained the esteem of the whole of his colleagues. He was a prominent member of the United F.C., playing either at back or half-back, and was successful in gaining a Halstead and District Junior League medal.His father and mother lived in Broad Street for a great many years, and only left as month or two ago. They now reside at 81 Lothair Road, Hornsey, N. They have another son, Trooper C.Amey, of the 1st Life Guards, who has been at the front since the commencement of the war. Mr Amey has received the following letter from the Army Chaplain:-
"It is very sad to have to write you a letter of deep sympathy after my last letter reporting your dear son's progress. He seemed to be pulling round splendidly and then his heart suddenly failed him. I was with him to the last and comforted him. He was perfectly happy and died as he had lived, a true and fearless soldier.
We buried him alongside his comrades in the beautiful little English Cemetery. If you wish I will send you a photograph of the Cemetery. I knew the War Office would wire you and that you would understand my former letter. His death was entirely unexpected. You have all my sympathy in your great loss. Do let me know if I can do anything for you. Am longing and praying for this terrible war to cease. The sorrow of parents is so heart rending. Your dear son and I were great friends and it was a great blow to me. Thank God there is consolation in Christ. Good-bye."

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Jack Amey is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, D:128
also commemorated in Haverhill Congregational Church.

His Sunday School Union plaque in the West End Congregational

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

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