17917, Private, Abraham RUTTERFORD
Age 36

9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday 13th September 1916

Born in Lakenheath about 1880. His birth registration seems to be Abel Rutterford (Mildenhall Q1-1880 4A:626). Abraham Rutterford was baptised in Lakenheath on April 4th 1880

1881 census... Aged 1, he was living at 62 High Street, Lakenheath with his father- Samuel Cooper RUTTERFORD [46] a farm labourer; mother- Hannah (née RUTTERFORD) [43]; brother Thomas [21]; sister- Rebecca [18]; brother- Joseph [13]; sister- Mary [11]; sister- Susannah [8] and sister- Hannah [3]. All were born in Lakenheath.

1891 census...Aged 11, living at Farrows Yard, Lakenheath. The family name appears now to be Rutterford COOPER. Present were father- Samuel R COOPER [58], mother- Hannah R COOPER [53]; brother Joseph H [23] sister Hannah [13]. It is unclear as to this surname change, but it seems extremely likely this is the right family. Samuel's branch of the family seems to descend from a Cooper-Rutterford marriage and this name appears as a given name through the generations.

1901 census... Aged 21 still at Farrows Yard were the same family R COOPER but brother Joseph is not there.

Abraham married Georgina Horrex CHAPMAN [11-1-1881] in 1908 in Lakenheath.

1911 census...Aged 31 he is now married, farm labourer, living at Farrows Yard as Abraham RUTTERFORD, with his wife Georgina Horrex CHAPMAN [30] and their two sons Margerson George RUTTERFORD [15-12-1907] and Frederick Ernest Ivan RUTTERFORD [12-3-1910], all born in Lakenheath.
There were also two daughters, Ena May [28-10-1913] and Lucy Augusta [28-4-1915].

Enlisted in Riddlesworth, near Thetford. According to relatives he was away delivering bricks to Thetford and must have decided there were better things to do in life, and enlisted in the Army

On the 13th September 1916 the 9th Suffolks attacked the Quadrilateral, near Ginchy. Attacking with three companies in the front line and one in support, zero hour was 6.20 am. They got through the German outpost line quite easily but in the open ground beyond, for 400 yards from the German wire, they came under very heavy machine gun fire from the Quarilateral strong point. No further progress could be made, although Lt Macdonald got close enogh to throw a bomb into the stronghold, being injured as a result. Another attempt was made at 7:30 am, with "A" Coy included, but to no avail. A third attempt was made in the evening which also failed, so they dug in on a line about half a mile from the morning's jumping off point. 47 men were killed, 28 have no known grave.

The Bury Free Press of 7th October 1916 reported:-

From two comrades, news has been received that Prvt A.Rutterford, 9th Suffolk Regiment, is missing. It is over a month since his wife, Mrs.Rutterford, heard from him and sympathy is felt for her in her anxiety. He was 37 years of age,and there is a family of four young children.

Then on December 30th the Bury Free Press published another photograph (below) and reported :-

Mrs. A. Rutterford, of Farrow's Yard, Lakenheath has received official notification that her husband, Prvt.Abram Rutterford of the Suffolks, has been missing for the past fifteen weeks. The anxious wife would be exceedingly grateful if any officer or comrade could furnish her with any information concerning Prvt Rtutterford's fate. We reproduce his photograph, in the hope that its publication may assist in such information being forthcoming

The Bury Free Press of 25th August 1917 reported

The roll of those who gave their lives for the defence of home and country is further increased in Lakenheath. On Monday Mrs. Rutterford, of Farrow's Yard, received official notification that Prvt Abram Rutterford, 9th Suffolk Regiment, who was reported missing on 13th September 1916 was believed killed on or about that date. Sympathy is felt for the widow and a family of four children. Deceased was 37 years of age.

No Known Grave
Abraham is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France pier and face 1C & 2A

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