HERBERT JOHN EMSDEN

 

 

Born: 1892, Ipswich.

Died: 12th October 1916; age 24; KiA. the Battle of Transloy 

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

 

Rank: Private; Service Number: 43040

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.

Formerly 2541, Suffolk Regiment.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.

 

Memorial Reference:

Pier & Face 1C & 2A.

Thiepval Memorial,

Somme,

France.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John & Eliza Emsden, of 34, Levington Road, Ipswich.

 

Brother to WILLIAM THOMAS EMSDEN.

 

CENSUS

 

1901   77, Newton Road, Ipswich.

 

Herbert was 8 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Emsden, 40, an Iron Plough – Fitter, born Ipswich.

Eliza Emsden (nee Cuckow), 38, born Ipswich.

Emily Dorothy Emsden, 10, born Ipswich.

Edwin James Emsden, 6, born Ipswich.

Winifred Mary Emsden, 4, born Ipswich.

William Thomas Emsden, 2, born Ipswich.

 

1911   34, Levington Road, Ipswich.

 

Herbert was 18 years old, a Clerk – Estate Agent. He was living with his parents, siblings & cousin.

John, 50, an Iron Fitter – Agricultural Engineers.

Eliza, 48.

Edwin, 16, a Milk Carrier – Co-Operative Stores.

Winifred, 14.

William, 12.

Joy Emsden, 5, born Ipswich.

William Mayhew, 27, a Dairy Man, born Islington, London.

 

On the 11th October the Suffolk Regiment 7th Battalion, having been allotted its task in the Battle of Transloy (already in progress) received the orders to take part in an attack on “Bayonet Trench” and “Luisenhof farm”, which had been fixed for the 12th.Going in over-night , they were heavily shelled until they occupied their assembly trenches just before dawn. All the company headquarters were in a large dugout in the sunken road leading to Guedecourt wood. After passing a reasonably quiet forenoon the battalion set out across the open at 2pm coming immediately under a very heavy cross fire of every description, but mainly from machine guns and automatic rifles. Close to the German trenches the attack was held up by machinegun nests and wire, and waves, unable to get any further, lay down. At this juncture remarkable bravery was displayed by several officers, non-commissioned officer, and men. Luet. Eagle is reported to have died fighting in the German first line, into which he had forced an entrance alone. 2 nd Lieut. Marshall, in a shell-hole with his servant and a sergeant, was bombed and sniped all afternoon, and later killed. They were close up against the German wire, but refused to go back. Captain Isham, badly wounded during the afternoon, spent the night in a shell-hole, being visited by Lieut. Bowen (himself wounded), who remained with him till dark.
The full story of this sad day, on which the 7th Battalion sustained over 500 casualties, has never been described in print. Let it suffice to say that all ranks, especially the reinforcements which recently arrived from the 6th Cyclist Battalion (becoming the 7th), acquitted themselves admirably.

The failure of the attack was due in some measure to the facts that the enemy’s wire had been only partially destroyed, and that the barrage during the launching of the attack was ineffective.

Before zero hour Captain Leith-Hay-Clarke had been twice buried by shells. Of the fourteen officers who went over the top on this occasion all became casualties.

For his part in the action Rev. A.E Cousins, chaplain to the 7th Battalion received the Military Cross.

Lieut. Bowen, wounded for the second time in three months was also awarded the Military Cross.

Transcript from “The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 by Lieut. Col. C.C.R Murphy”

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