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  • Harry Jeffs
Person Details
Hartwell Northamptonshire
He was the son of William and Annie Jeffs and the brother of William, Charles, Alice, Annie, George, Ada and Ernest Jeffs. In 1911 they lived at Station Road Selston. He was the husband of Betsy Jeffs (married J/F/M/1915).
He was a printer.
09 May 1915
25
871800 - CWGC Website
4926
Private
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Jeffs enlisted on 13 August 1914 into 3rd Reserve battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). He was 24 years and 206 days of age, 5 feet 2 inches in height. After training he was posted to the BEF and probably the 2nd Battalion. On 16th March 1915 he was posted to 1st battalion after a period in England, when he married. The reason is not stated, although wounding is a possibility. The 1st Battalion had suffered heavy casualties during the battle of Neuve Chapelle and on 19th March a reinforcements of 2 officers and 166 other ranks arrived, of which Harry was one. The attack on Rouge Blancs, part of the Battle of Aubers was entrusted to 8th Division. The 1st Battalion were in support of the initial attack. At 5.55 am, the 2nd East Lancashire Regiment advanced with ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies of the Sherwoods on their left and right flanks. Immediately it was obvious that the British artillery had all but failed and the enemy trenches were held in force. The two Foresters companies changed direction but came under heavy machine gun fire and ‘B’ Company did get to within 40 yards of the enemy wire, only to find it hardly touched. An order was given to withdraw and reorganise, which was carried out in good order. At 7.35 the East Lancashires once again attacked and this time ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies were in support, with ‘B’ and ‘D’ supporting them. Again intense machine gun fire and accurate enemy artillery forced a halt and men lay wherever they could, some in the open. At 1-15pm the enemy put down enfilade artillery fire on the trenches from the left. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies had just been ordered back to the breastwork and many suffered shrapnel wounds. At 7 30pm the enemy artillery opened with a heavy high explosive barrage causing many casualties. The battalion was relieved just after 10 pm and arrived back at Rouge Blancs around 1 am. Total casualties were all ranks, was upwards of 360 and Harry was one of some 90 men killed during the day. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial Belgium.
Soldiers Effects Register – £2-3s-0d – 17/11/15 – widow sole legatee Betsy £3 war gratuity – to widow sole legatee Betsy; In memoriam published 9th May 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “JEFFS. – In loving memory of Private H. Jeffs, 1st Batt. Sherwood Foresters, killed in action May 9th, 1915, aged 25 years. He is gone, but not forgotten, and as dawns another year, in our lonely hours of thinking, thoughts of him are always near; yet again we hope to meet him, when our days on earth are fled ,and in Heaven we hope to greet him, where no farewell tears are shed. – From his sorrowing father, mother, brothers, and sisters.” Above is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on

Photos

  • Harry Jeffs
    Photo courtesy of John Morse - Harry Jeffs
  • 4926 Private Harry Joseph Jeffs, 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action during the Battle of Aubers, 9 May 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial Belgium. Visited, wreath laid and photo taken by John Morse
    Harry Jospeh Jeffs Memorial - 4926 Private Harry Joseph Jeffs, 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) killed in action during the Battle of Aubers, 9 May 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial Belgium. Visited, wreath laid and photo taken by John Morse