COBBOLD, Claude Alfred

No.202050, Private, Claude Alfred COBBOLD
Aged 20

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly No.5240, 4th Bn., Suffolk Regiment
formerly No.1676, 5th Bn., Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 20th November 1917

Claude Alfred Cobbold was born in 1897 (Mildenhall Q4-1897 4A:825), son of Henry Martin and Esther COBBOLD (née CAMPION).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at main Street, West Row with his father Henry COBBOLD [39] groom, born Hunston, Suffolk; his mother Esther [41] born Hawstead; brothers Henry [19] stablelad, born Wenston, and Arthur (Reginald A)[3 months] born Mildenhall; sisters Maud [11] and Ada [8], both born Bury St Edmunds. There was an older sister Jessie Mary [1884].

1911 census...Aged 13, farm hand, he was at West Row with his parents, sister Ada and brother Arthur. Two of the seven children had died.

He enlisted in Mildenhall.
The 7th Suffolk moved up to Peizières, on the NE edge of Épehy. From there they were part of the attack launched on 20th November on the Hindenburg Line.

The war diary entry is brief-
Battalion attacked 6:20 am in conjunction with tanks. Attack successful. Casualties light. 2 officers wounded."

CWGC record 10 men killed, none with an identified grave. These included Jabez Rutterford from Lakenheath.

The Bury Free Press of 22nd December 1917 reported:-

During the course of General Byng's great assault on the Cambrai front on November 20th, a gallant West Row soldier, Prvt. Claud Cobbold's untimely death was received in West Row with deep regret, and much sympathy has been aroused for those bereaved. On Sunday week a memorial service was held at the West Row Baptist Chapel,conducted by the Pastor, the Rev.C.J.Fowler, who made sympathetic reference to the great respect in which the deceased was held by everyone locally. The following letter has been received from Prvt Cobbold's officer:-
"It is with deep regret that I have to convey to you the sad news of the death of Prvt Claud Cobbold in action on the 20th November. I would assuredly written to you earlier, save for the fact that I was wounded on the 24th and sent to this hospital. Prvt Cobbold had been my servant from the time I joined the Battalion in August until now, and he had looked after me faithfully and well, and I had become very much attached to him, especially as he was about my own age. He was killed about mid-day after we had obtained our objectives, being shot through the head by a sniper, so that his death was instantaneous. I feelI can only pray that God will comfort yu in your heavy bereavement. If there is any way in which I can assist you please do not fail to let me know. With the assurance of my deepest sympathy.

Claude Cobbold is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, panel 4
and on the Mildenhall war memorial.

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