UNGLESS, Harry Claybyn

recorded as UNGLASS only on memorial and medal index card

No.10705, Private, Harry Claybyn UNGLESS
Aged 20

7th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 1st May 1917

Harry Claybyn Ungless was born in Mildenhall in 1897 (Mildenhall Q2-1897 4A:808) son of Harry Frederick and Alice UNGLESS (née CLAYBYN).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Market Place, Mildenhall with his father Harry UNGLESS [32] plumber/house painter, born Mildenhall and his mother Alice [30] born in Norwich.

1911 census...Aged13, he was at Market Place, Mildenhall with his widowed mother and sister Iva [9] born Mildenhall. His father had died in 1906.

His mother returned to Norwich after his death, with his sister Iva, to live at Sherrington House, St Philip's Road, Norwich.

His uncle Henry James UNGLESS ( his father's half brother by his grandfather's second marriage) was killed in 1915 in Gallipoli. see here

Enlisted in Newmarket on 11th December 1915, giving his age as 18 years 8 months, a clerk from Market Place in Mildenhall. He was mobilised on 12th April 1916 at Bury St. Edmunds. His mobilisation was delayed to 5th May 1916 due to his 23 days in hospital in Bury St Edmunds with peritonitis
At mobilisation he was 5 feet 9 inches(175.3 cm) tall, weighed 123 lbs (56kg), chest 35" to 37" (88.9 to 94 cm). Next of kin, mother Alice Ungless. Posted to the 3rd battalion East Surrey Regiment on 6th May 1916, promoted to Lance Corporal on 1st August 1916 and posted to 8th Battalion and the British Expeditionary Force on 13th September 1916, and to the 7th Battalion on 23rd September.
During a quiet spell he was wounded and sent to 38th Field Ambulance, and then to 15th Casualty Clearing Station (Hazebrouck) on 18th October 1916, returned to duty on 30th October 1916. He was demoted for some unstated reason on 2nd April 1917. Posted wounded on 1st May 1917, his mother wrote to the Army on 25th May 1017 to try and find what had happened to him. It transpires he actually died on 1st May 1917.
According to the war diary, the battalion left ARRAS on 1st May and relieved the 7th Suffolks in support at GUN PIT VALLEY 51b.H.36.a.. Fairly quiet and a good relief.

It may been quiet, but CWGC have 11 of the 7th East Surreys killed that day, 7 with no known grave.

The Bury Free Press of 30th June 1917 reported :-
Prvt Harry Ungless, of the East Surrey Regiment, with the British Expeditionary Force in France, was killed in action on 1st May 1917. So runs the notice received this week by Mrs. A.Ungless, his mother, from the War Office, and many in the town will be sorry to learn of this young soldier's untimely death. Although only just of military age, he attested under the Derby Scheme, and joined up when called upon in April 1916, having been for some time previously a clerk in the office of Mr. Odden. F.Read,solicitor in this town. The deceased soldier had been initiated in preliminary drill as a member of the local patrol of Boy Scouts, and was drafted out to France in the following September. He wrote home cheerfully, mentioning in one of his latest letters that he spent his 20th birthday in a German trench.Prvt Ungless was reported wounded on 18th May, but since then, until this week, nothing was heard of, or from him. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Ungless, a widow, at the loss of her only son.

their position on 1st May 1917

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Harry Ungless is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, bay 6

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