ISAACSON, William Sutton

No.14307, Private, William Sutton ISAACSON
Aged 37

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action between 9th and 19th April 1918

William Sutton Isaacson was born in Soham on 5th October 1880,(Newmarket Q4-1880 3B:519), baptised in Soham on 12th November 1890, son of Aveley James and Eliza ISAACSON (née PALMER) of Brook Dam, Soham.

1881 census...Aged 6 months, he was at Brook Street, Soham with his father Aveley James ISAACSON [21 farm labourer and his mother Eliza [20], all born in Soham

1891 census...Aged 10, he was at Brook Street, Soham with his parents; sisters Hannah [8], Anna Elizabeth [7], Martha Ann [2] and Addie Elizabeth [1 month]. All were born in Soham.

1901 census...Aged 20, a farm labourer, he was at Brook Street,Soham with his parents; sisters Martha and Addie, Eliza [4] and Vina [1]; brother Ernest [6]. The new siblings were all born in Soham.

1911 census...Aged 30, he was a farm labourer, boarding at the Hare and Hounds, Prickwillow with widow Mary TAYLOR and her son Arthur. Amongst the other boarders was his brother Aveley James ISAACSON [25].

On the pension card his mother was at Speed Lane, Soham

His uncle Frederick Thomas ISAACSON died of illness in 1918. see here

Enlisted in Newmarket.
Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" has:
In April 1918 the 11th Suffolks (often referred to as the "Cambridgeshires") were at La Rolanderie with the 12th Suffolks nearby at Fluerbaix. On the 9th the Germans opened in intensive barrage south of the Lille railway but no attack developed along the 34th Division front. 101st Brigade ( of which 11th Suffolks were part) set off as Corps Reserves to the south of Bac St Maur. An hour later news came that the Germans had broken through the Portuguese front and were entering the 40th Division zone. With that, the 101st Brigade were ordered to cover the flank, but they found Bac St Maur occupied by the Germans and took up position facing west and south west near Fort Rompu and began fighting immediately. A strange occurrence, when the Corps Reserve were actually the first to engage the enemy. Terrific fighting followed and on the 10th the Suffolks formed a defensive flank, beating off attack after attack. Twice the Germans broke through and twice were thrown back. At 3:20 pm they were ordered to withdraw to behind the River Lys. The struggle continued until on the night of 17th/18th when they were relieved, moving back first into reserve trenches and three days later back to Boeschepe.
These battles of the Lys cost the battalion nearly 500 casualties, CWGC figures give 116 dead. 64 of these were on the 9th April. William Isaacson was one of those who was reported missing, presumed killed during that time.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Isaacson is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium, panel 3

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