No. 3/8917, Private, Arthur George COLEMAN
Aged 19

Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion
Killed in Action on/since Saturday 24th April 1915

Born in Lakenheath in 1896 (1st qtr Mildenhall 4a:800), son of Elijah and Rebecca COLEMAN (née RUTTERFORD)

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at 20 Sharpes Corner, Lakenheath with his father Elijah COLEMAN [40] farm labourer; his mother Rebecca [39]; brothers Elijah [16] ploughboy, Samuel [15] stockboy, Ernest [7]; sisters Alice [13] and Priscilla [8 months]. All were born in Lakenheath.

1911 census... Aged 15, farm labourer, still at Sharpes Corner with his parents; brothers Samuel (railway ditcher), Ernest (stockman) and Gerald [7]; sister Isabella [10], His mother had lost 4 of her 11 children.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.

The war diary from 9th April to 9th May 1915 appears to have gone missing, so we must use Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment":-
April 22nd was the first real use of gas by the Germans. On the night of 23rd/24th the battalion went back into reserve between Frenzenberg and Verlorenhoek , no billets, they had to bivouac under hedges. On the morning of 24th they were put to work digging in on the ridge astride the Ypres-Zonnebeke road. An officer appeared from Division to say the 1st Suffolks and 12th Londons were to advance northward, adding the Germans had broken through and only these two battalions stood between the Germans and Ypres. Captain Balders sought advice from Brigade and was given authority to advance and try top establish a base in the ruins of FORTUIN.
As soon as they set out the enemy barrage increased. On the way to FORTUIN, they came across a hard pressed Canadian unit and the decision was made to assist them. Being made aware that the Germans were already in St Julien. "A" and "B" Companies reinforced the Canadian left flank, whilst the rest took up a position covering FORTUIN, the 12 London being on the right.After digging all night the Suffolk who were put in the open managed to construct a fire trench over 4 feet deep with traverses.

CWGC put the deaths in the 1st Suffolks on 24th at 50, only 6 have known graves.

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

No Known Grave
Arthur COLEMAN is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium., panel 21

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