KERSEY, Newton Robert Shaw

42972, Private, Robert KERSEY
Aged 34

2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
formerly No. 328081, 1st/1st Bn. Cambridgeshire Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Thursday, 2nd May 1918

Robert Kersey was born in Notting Hill according to "Soldiers Died" but taking his Army records as his widow being Minnie L and Newton Robert KERSEY married Minnie L Kett in Mildenhall, in 1913, it quite likely that he was Newton Robert KERSEY, born 1884 in Woodbridge. if that is so, then it follows that:-

He was Newton Robert Shaw KERSEY, born 1884 (Ipswich Q1-1884 4A:752) son of Edward Newton and Kate KERSEY (née PARDOE).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Castle Street, Woodbridge with his father Edward N. KERSEY [35] a cutler (grinder and setter) born Ipswich; his mother Kate [26] born Ipswich; Sisters Alice S [9] born Ipswich and Mary A.K. [8 months] born Woodbridge; brothers David H [6] born Ipswich, Ernest G [4] born Woodbridge and Wilfrid A [3] born Woodbridge.

1891 census...Aged 17, butcher/slaughterman, he was still at Castle Street, Woodbridge with his parents, sisters Alice and Mary Ann; brothers David H (apprentice pawnbroker) George E (billiard marker), Charles P.[5], Edward S [3] and Joseph A [1] all new brothers born in Woodbridge.

1901 census...Aged 27, single, a butcher worker, he was at Worlington Road, Mildenhall, lodging with Maria Barton

In 1913, in Mildenhall, he married Minnie Louisa KETT [20-3-1871] who is given by the Army as his sole legatee. She already had 2 children, Ella Julia Lilian KETT [2-1-1903] and Conrad Thorpe KETT [26-6-1906], by her first husband Charles Grange KETT. She was originally Mildenhall born, Minne Louisa THORPE.

He enlisted in Newmarket while resident in Mildenhall.
The war diary gives:-
2 May- Normal trench warfare. Relieved by 1st Kings Regt.
D Coy., remained in PURPLE LINE about 57b.s.7.b.5.5., B Coy. remained in defended locality in s.9.a rest went to BLAIRVILLE. During tour the Bn worked well improving trenches etc for which they were complimented by Brigadier.

5 men were killed, all initially buried in Blairville Orchard but now at Cabaret Rouge.
Robert was initially buried in Blairville Orchard Cemetery, grave 1:D:24., but this cemetery was closed like many more small cemeteries and nearly 7,000 were exhumed across many areas and re-interred at Cabaret Rouge in 1923, which remained open for very many years to accept those who where discovered many years later in the area.
It was from this cemetery that the body of the Canadian unknown warrior was taken back to Canada in May 2000.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo:Rodney Gibson

Robert Kersey is buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchet, grave 8:Q:50
and commemorated on the war memorial in Beck Row

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