PALFREY, Herbert George

No.4782, Private Herbert George PALFREY
Aged 33

8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died of Wounds on 27th June 1916

Herbert George Palfrey was born in Rougham (4th qtr 1883 Thingoe 4:646), son of George and Kate Ann PALFREY (née HUNT)

1891 census...Aged 9 (should be 7), he was at Nether Street, Rougham with his father George PALFREY [31] farm labourer; his mother Kate Ann [32]; half brother Albert HUNT [14]; twin brother Edward [9]; sisters Lily M [11]Rosa M [3] and Alice [9 months]. All were born in Rougham.

1901 census...Aged 17 (sic), farm labourer, he was still at Nether Street with his widowed mother; twin brother Edward (horsekeeper), brothers Frederick [8] and George [5]; sisters Rose [13], Maud [10] and Edith [8 months]

1911 census...Aged 27, farm labourer, he was still at Nether Street with his mother, brother Frederick and George (both farm labourers); sisters Rosa May and Edith May; grandmother Sophie HUNT [84].

On the pension card his mother was still at Nether Street, Rougham.

His brother Frederick William PALFREY died of illness earlier in the year and is buried in Rougham see here and nephew Bertram Charles was killed in action on 1st July 1916 see here

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds.
The battalion was in the area of Carnoy. The war diary does not cover 22nd to 30th June but the book "History of the East Surrey Regiment 1914 - 1917" , H.W. Pearse, and H.S. Sloman (N&M Press Reprint) P160 - 163 has this to say.
On the 27th June the bombardment continued. A platoon of D Company, under 2nd Lieut, E. C. Hetherington, attempted to raid Breslau Point at 10 p.m. They were spotted as soon as they left our trenches, but, in spite of heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, Lieut. Hetherington entered the enemy trench with twelve men, but found it filled with barbed wire. As he could not move in the trench, and could therefore do no good, he very wisely ordered his men to retire and got his platoon back to our lines with a loss of 1 man killed and 1 wounded. The latter was brought back with the party. It was only by extreme good fortune that this raid, which was planned and ordered by higher authority, escaped disaster. It was still quite light at 10 p.m., and the party was fired at before the greater part of it had even had time to climb out of our trench — a bad beginning, as the essence of successful raiding is surprise. In addition, the usual short hurricane bombardment prior to the raid had been cancelled, the result being that the enemy riflemen and machine gunners were at liberty to shoot at our men during both their advance and retirement without being interfered with by artillery fire

Herbert seems to have been the wounded man, which would explain his burial so far from Carnoy. Sailly le Sec was a concentration area for several field ambulances set up in June 1916, ready for the "Big Push" on 1st July.

It does seem strange that a family that lost 3 members the same year, 2 of them in the same regiment, had no mention in the Bury Free Press.

Herbert Palfrey is buried in Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec 2:A:25

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