RANDALL, Arthur William

No.41107, Private, Arthur William RANDALL
Aged 21

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly No. 2778, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 27th March 1918

Arthur William Randall was born in 1897 in Norwood, Surrey, (Newmarket Q3-1897 3B:499), son of Arthur Robert and Annie Eliza RANDALL (née ANDERSON),

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at 2 Rectory Cottages, Snailwell with his father Arthur [32] a Royal Navy pensioner, born Ipswich; his mother Annie [29] born Norwood and sister Annie [5], born Norwood.

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm labourer, he was in Snailwell with his parents (father now in light employment), sister Annie and sister Edie [6] born in Snailwell.

His mother married Albert E TWEED in 1914. It is assumed that his father was the Arthur RANDALL whose death was registered in Chesterton in 1913

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds. His medal card shows him in the 5th Battalion and also with another number 238013 as well as the two above..

On the 26th March 1918 the 7th Suffolks were taking up defensive positions in the Albert bridgehead that they had themselves prepared 2 years earlier. With their backs to the wall, they were striving, without artillery support, bombs, rifle grenades or trench mortars, to stem the onrush of the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. They had left billets in Albert and by 15:00 had dug themselves in along the railway, their left resting on Albert station and the right 300 yards south of the Albert-Amiens road. At 16:30 they saw waves of Germans advancing towards Albert and around 17:30 the enemy were seen marching along the Albert-Millencourt road. Here the Suffolks, with a Lewis gun, inflicted heavy casualties but the gun was soon put out of action. Attacks along the railway line were twice driven off .
At 22.20 the Germans attacked in great strength and the bridgehead was lost.. At 23:15 a counter attack was attempted by the remnants of 2 Platoon together with some from the 5th Northants. Shortage of ammunition doomed this to failure. The line was then withdrawn 300 yards and stabilised. By the time the battalion was relieved on the 28th and the roll taken, they had suffered 256 casualties, one platoon had been reduced to three men.

Unusually for a war diary, all the other rank casualties, killed and wounded, are named in each Company, hence we know Arthur was in "D" Coy

Of the 72 men recorded as killed on 27th, only 8 have identified graves.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Arthur Randall is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panel 25

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