No. 19977, Private, Zachariah HARRISON
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Born in Hockwold, Norfolk, registered Thetford Q2-1882 [4A:383].|
1891 census... Aged 8, living at North Street, Hockwold with Wilton, with his father Granger HARRISON  grocer and draper, born Little Downham; his step-mother- Sally (née WILLETT)  born Methwold; brother William G.  farm labourer born Hockwold; brother Walter  farm labourer born Hockwold; half brother- Francis ; half brother Ernest ; half sister Eva M ; half brother Alfred H [1 month]. His mother was 1st wife, Ellen PEARCE born 1854, died 1884
1901 census...Aged 19, farmworker, living at Clough Farm, Hockwold cum Wilton with his father, step mother, brother Walter, half brothers- Francis, Ernest and Alfred and half sister Eva. In addition there were 6 more children of Granger and Sally all born in Hockwold:- Ida ;Elsie ;Florence ;Roger ; Edgar  and Ethel 
1911 census...Aged 28 , still single and living at Clouds Farm, Hockwold with his widowed step mother who was now recorded as a farmer, and her sons and daughters:- Francis, Alfred were both working on the farm, Florence, Roger, Edgar and Alice Ethel, plus Liela Elizabeth ; Hilda Mary ; Granger  and Fred . The last 4 were born at Hockwold Fen. His father had died in 1910.
Enlisted in Ely. |
Just before the Kaiserschlacht, the German Spring offensive, the British Army was weakened so far as to reduce divisions from 13 to 10 brigades and brigades from 4 battalions ( 2 in and 2 out of the line) to three, 2 in and one out, hence 2 tours in the line and only one out. Added to which the Germans were able, since the Russian Revolution, to move many battle hardened troops from the Eastern to the Western Front. The German offensive began on 21st March. On the 28th the 2nd Suffolks were in the front line overlooking Wancourt. At 3 am a violent bombardment was opened on them, continuing until 6:45. The 15th Division on the left were seen retreating, followed by the Germans, which left the Suffolks left flank open and by 11 am the Germans had penetrated their line. Two German batteries then came up and knocked out the Suffolks' machine guns. The situation deteriorated still further and at 4 pm the order was given to withdraw to a line just north of Neuville Vitasse (which was occupied by the Germans). They were eventually relieved by the Canadians on the 30th.
The 2nd Suffolks had 67 killed on 28 March 1918, only 12 have identified graves.
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