JESSUP, Augustus Charles

No.13970, Private, Augustus Charles JESSUP
Aged 39

4th Regiment (South African Scottish), 1st South African Infantry Brigade
Killed in Action on Thursday, 31st March 1918

Augustus Charles Jessup was born in 1878 (Southampton Q4-1878 2C:44), son of Charles Augustus and Sarah Jane JESSUP (née DEAN). His mother was first married to George VOSS in Dorchester (1846-1874) and married Charles Jessup in 1878 in Dorchester. The surname can vary from Jessup to Jessop.

1881 census...Aged 2, Charles A. was at The Workhouse, 8 Church Square, Mildenhall with his father Charles A. JESSUP[32], master of workhouse, born Chichester; his mother Sarah J [33] born Dorchester; sister Charlotte P [1] born Mildenhall and a visitor was E.H.JESSUP [23] (? uncle) a groccer's assistant born Chichester.

1891 census...Aged 12, he was at the Workhouse, Church Lane, Mildenhall with his parents, sisters Charlotte, Isabel J [9], Maud E [7] and Florence H [4]; brothers Alexander A [2] and Reginald R [1]. All the new siblings were born in Mildenhall.

1901 census...Aged 22 he was living alone at Cemetery Road, Mildenhall. His parents, sisters Charlotte, Isabella, Maude and Florence, brother Alfred and Reginald were still at the Workhouse, Mildenhall.

He married his cousin, (daughter of his mother's sister Fanny), Maud Edith BULLARD on 11th July 1904 in Pietermaritzburg. She died, aged 45, on 7th August 1916 from endometrioss. The pension card has the guardian of his two children as Mrs Charles Bell of Fire Station, Maritzburg, Natal. The children were Augustus George (b.1-5-1905) and Ivy Gladys (b.21-6-1907).

1911 census...He was in South Africa with his wife and two children. His parents, sister Isabel and brother Alfred and Reginald were still at the Union Workhouse in Mildenhall where his sister was now Assistant Matron to her mother. His brothers were florists.

Augustus G Jessop [14] and Ivy Gladys Jessop [12] arrived at Southampton on 12th October 1919 from Natal on the SS Balmoral Castle. As the passenger list is by surname alphabetically, there is no way of seeing who may have accompanied them, if anyone did. They are recorded as with the intention of permanent settlement..Augustus' will said on his death the children were to go to London, there to live with Mrs Rolls of 14 Normandy Road, London. Mrs Rolls was their aunt Beatrice May ROLLS, née BULLARD.
Augustus George was a lorry driver in Hendon in 1939.
Thanks go to Danny Pearson for the South African details.

The 4th Regiment was the South African Scottish, raised from the Transvaal Scottish and the Cape Town Highlanders, and wearing the Atholl Murray tartan.
He was taken on strength 2nd April 1917. He was 5 feet 10 inches (177.8 cm) tall, weighing 150 lbs (68 kg).What has been found of his military record gives next of kin/guardian of children Mrs Constance Ingram of Asylum Road, Maritzburg, Natal and aged 37 (not known if this was reputed age on enlistment or death) Constable is one entry , so perhaps he was by civilian occupation a police officer.
He embarked at Cape Town on the HMT Euripidies on 20th April 1917, arriving in France on 15th July 1917. Dominion troops usually spent some months training in UK before joining the BEF

He was in action in September 1917 at the Menin Road and at St Julien in October and was wounded in November in the Cambrai offensive. He was hospitalised from 30th November 1917 until 18th February 1918, returning to France, on the Somme, just in time for the German Spring Offensive.
What was probably most impressive action by the South African forces in the war took place in March 1918, when the Germans attacked in Operation Michael ( The Kaiserschlacht). The 1st South African brigade fought a defensive action on the 21st March 1918 ( the first day of the German offensive - at Gauche Wood, near Villers Guislain. By the 24th March they had carried out a fighting withdrawal to Marrieres Wood near Bouchavesnes and there held on, completely unsupported. They fought on until only some 100 men were left, yet it was only when ammunition ran out that the remnant, many of them wounded, surrendered.

This seems to have even excelled their record at Delville Wood in 1916 when out of over 3,100 men entering the Wood, only 750 answered their names when relieved.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Augustus Jessup is commemorated on the Pozières memorial, panels 95 to 98

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