HALE, John

No.18718, Private, John HALE
Aged 26

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 28th April 1917

John Hales was born in Shimpling (3rd qtr 1891 Sudbury 4a:707) son of Henry and Anna Alice HALE (née BIGG)

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at the Baker's shop, Slough Hill, Shimpling with his father henry HSALE [49] carrier/thtacher; his mother Anna A [47] baker/grocer born Melford; sisters Bertha [19], Lily [14] and Kate [11]; brothers Thomas L [16] domestic page, Stanley [7]and Alec V [4]. All except his mother were born in Shimpling.

1911 census...Aged 19, a veterinary laboratory attendant, he lived alone at Alperton Lodge, Wembley. His parents (father now a hurdle maker) were at Shimpling Street with his brother Alec and 2 boarders. His mother had lost one of her 10 children.

On the pension card his parents were still in Shimpling.

He enlisted in Wembley.
The action where he was killed was the attack on the chemical works at Rouex. from Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" and the war diary:-
28th April - 4.25 a.m. Barrage commenced, 4:27 a.m. battalion advanced but was held up and driven back by very considerable hostile machine gun fire from a trench which had been entirely missed by our barrage. What was left of the battalion formed up in our front line.
5:30 a.m. Major Tuck went up to our front line to reorganise our defences. In the front line were 5 officers, 300 other ranks (including 2 officers and 60 other ranks from 16th Royal Scots.
9:45 a.m. The enemy counter attacked from Roeux, capturing MOUNT PLEASANT WOOD and part of CEYLON TRENCH.
10 a.m. All communications with the front line were cut. The enemy driven out of CEYLON TRENCH and MOUNT PLEASANT WOOD.
10 p.m. The battalion moved out of front line trench & support line to enable the heavy artillery to bombard the chemical works. They moved back into the front line at midnight.

On this horrific day for the 11th Suffolks, CWGC records 106 killed of which 82 have no known grave.

photo CWGC

John Hale is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens bay 4

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