image and family note courtesy of Marian.
Born: 1898, Ipswich.
Died: 2nd May 1915; age 17; Died of Wounds at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 2021;
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.
- 4. 34.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William Thomas & Elizabeth Ann Jordan, of 96, Surrey Road, Ipswich.
Nephew to JOHN JORDAN.
1901 25, Church Lane, Ipswich.
John was 3 years old and living with his parents.
William Thomas Jordan, 27, a General Labourer, born Ipswich.
Elizabeth Ann Jordan (nee Coleman), 28, born Ipswich.
William Henry Jordan, 5, born Ipswich.
Beatrice Maud Jordan, 8 months, born Ipswich.
1911 96, Surrey Road, Ipswich.
John was 13 years old, an Errand Boy. He was living with his parents & siblings.
William, 37, a Dustman.
William, 15, a Factory Hand – Corset Manufacturer.
George Joseph Jordan, 8, born Ipswich.
James Valentine Jordan, 2, born Ipswich.
A family note:
John Alfred Jordan was transported back to England and treated for a shrapnel wound in the back at Manchester Military Hospital. After an initial recovery he wrote this letter to his employer (Ipswich Depot of the Anglo-American Oil Company)
“I received a nasty wound in the back during the big advance at Neuve Chapelle. It is a nasty wound, two inches deep and the nurse can get her two fingers in the space. The doctor told me it was a very narrow escape; had it been an eighth of an inch to the left it would have smashed my spine; as it is it only just touched it, but I cannot bend my back yet. I shall not forget the day the doctor took the piece of shrapnel from my back, the pain was awful every time he touched the bone. I shall bring the piece of shrapnel home as a souvenir.
How I came to get the wound in my back was not by running away, as some people have suggested. We were advancing over open ground and the Germans were putting such heavy fire into us that we were ordered to lie down; the Germans could not then get us with the rifle, so they started shelling us for half an hour, and then i was hit by a shell bursting just in front of me. It caught several others lying near and I am fortunate to be alive.
People would not believe the sensations you get when being shelled – it is a horrible feeling. I know that nearly every man in my Section sent a prayer up to Heaven; at least I know I did.”
This letter was printed in the Suffolk Chronicle and Star 2 April 1915.
By 1 May, John Alfred was dead. He was brought back to Ipswich and given a military funeral at Ipswich Cemetery, attended by 40 comrades who had been wounded at the same battle.
There is a description and photograph in the Chronicle and Star. On the anniversary of his death in 1918 the following appeared in the paper:
“In loving memory of my dear son, Pte John Alfred Jordan, Suffolk Regiment of 96 Surrey Road, Ipswich, who received wounds at Neuve Chapelle and died at Manchester Hospital 1st May 1915
Three years have passed but still we miss him
Some may think the wound has healed
They little know how deep the sorrow
That lies within our hearts concealed
We think of him in silence
And his name we oft recall
But there is nothing left to answer
Only his photo on the wall
From his loving Father, Mother, Brothers and Sister”
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion: