No.9175, Private, Conney RUTTERFORD
Aged 18

7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 13th October 1915

Identification of this man is not 100 % certain, there was another C.RUTTERFORD, but he was the Lakenheath soldier. In neither case has documentary evidence been found connecting them with Mildenhall.

Conney RUTTERFORD was born on 3rd March 1897 in Brandon (Thetford Q1-1897 4B:374), son of James and Frances RUTTERFORD (née GALL).

1901 census...Connie, aged 4, was at George Street, Chapel Square, Brandon with his father James RUTTERFORD [41] a bricklayer's labourer, born Lakenheath; his mother Frances [26] born Thetford; brothers Elijah [6] born Thetford, James F [7] and John W [1] both born in Brandon.

1911 census...Conney, aged 14, a labouring boy, was at Town Street, Brandon with his parents (mother a fur cutter); brothers Elijah (milk boy), John William and Thomas Richard [8],; sisters Violet Daisy [7] and Sylvester Mary [1]. All the new siblings were born in Brandon.

Enlisted in Norwich on 10th August 1914, giving his names as Conney RUTTERFORD, age as 19,( adding 2 years to his age) a labourer, born in Brandon. Next of kin his father James at Black Horse Drove, Littleport. He was 5 feet 6.75 inches (169.5 cm) tall, weighed 115 lbs (52.2 kg), chest 32" to 34.5" (81.3 to 87.6 cm), blue eyed, brown hair, Church of England.

Posted to Depot, Norfolk Regiment, he was then posted on 15th August to the 7th Battalion and he joined the BEF in France on 30th May 1915.
Posted missing on 13th October 1915 and officially declared killed in action just east of Vermelles that day.

His medals were sent to his father at Warren Cottages, Euston, Thetford, his personal belongings to his father at Nunnery Farm, Thetford. When his father completed the "Living Relatives" form in December 1919 he was at Brandon Bank, Southery, Downham Market. The family then were:- mother-deceased; brothers James GALL (full blood but before wedlock) [27] at Black Horse Drove, Littleport, Elijah [25], J.W.[20], J.R.[19], and C.J.[7] ; sisters Violet D [15] and Sylvanta [10] all at Brandon Bank with their father.

The war diary has :-
Night of 12/13th relieved the Coldstream Guards in front of the QUARRIES. Relief completed by 1:30 am.
12 noon - Bombardment of the German line commenced. It was proposed to attack under cover of a smoke cloud which started at 1 pm.
1.45 pm Intensive bombardment commenced and men of C and C Coys got into position on their ladders. Our bombers started bombing up fromPt 78 and from Pt in CT at 'V' in St Elie Avenue with the object of making good the circle at 90 and continuing bombing up the two CTs ( CT =Communication trench ) AB and CD (attached map-not available here) and eventually meeting the bombers of the 5th R BERKS at Pt E. At the same hour the bombers of 5th R BERKS started bombing up from Pt 54 to Pt 46 at pt E.
2 pm -Attack was launched by 7th NORFOLK Regt with the SUFFOLK Regt on our left and the BUFFS on our right. Unfortunately the smoke had cleared by this hour and our objective was clearly seen (By some mistake the smoke cloud which was bring produce by the Guards stopped at 1:40 pm). The enemy could be plainly seen manning their parapet, numbers estimated at one man per 1.5 yards.
The greatest danger done was by a German M.Gun in a sap at F which enfiladed the attack which according to the scheme should have been knocked out by our trench mortars, which did not appear to have been successful. This same mortar should have demolished the barricades at sap head in front of 54 and at G. This also was not successfully carried out and owing to this one squad was wiped out in getting through.

About 50 men managed to gain a footing in the German trench on the left and took about 200 yards of trench,this they held with bombs till the supply failed, when they were forced to retire.
A Coy reinforced but were unable to reach their objective. With this reinforcement went half A and half B Coy of the R BERKS which had come up in support. Our bombers under 2 Lt HV Franklin managed to bomb up to Pt "H" where a barricade was erected. Also the trench at "I" was blocked. B Coy which was in support, according to the scheme endeavoured to follow up the R BERKS bombers on the right but were impeded by the congestion in the trench and by this bombers not being able to make headway.
It was seen to be useless to send any further reinforcements over as they were mown down by the German MG within the first 20 yards
Our casualties in the attack were : Killed 66 - wounded 196 - missing 160 OR; Officers 3 killed, one died of wounds and 7 wounded.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Conney Rutterford is commemorated on the Loos memorial, panels 30 and 31

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