Image courtesy of IWM.
Born: 25th July 1885, Ipswich.
Died: 12th October 1916; age 28; KiA.at the Battle of Transloy
Residence: 42, Westgate Street, Ipswich & Blenheim Barracks, Aldershot, Hampshire.
Occupation: Civil Servant with the Foreign Telegraph Department – Stores Department, Bedford Street, Strand.
Gazetted from Lance Corporal to 2nd Lieutenant 9th September 1914 – 15th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own, Civil Service Rifles).
Transferred to the Suffolk Regiment.
Wounded November 1915, and invalided home to England. After Harold had recovered he was promoted to Lieutenant and return to France with the 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
From the Memorials of Masonians Who fell During The Great War:-
Date of Entry Therein: 30th May 1915 – France.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
Pier & Face 1C & 2A.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Elinor Jackson (formerly Todd) of ‘Hearlem’ Langer Road, Felixstowe & the late George W. Todd.
1891 42, Westgate Street, Ipswich.
Harold was was 5 years old and living with his widowed mother, brother & step siblings.
Elinor Todd (nee Potter), 26, a Book Keeper, born Hemingstone, Suffolk.
Florence E. Todd, 16, a Book Keeper to Elinor, born Osbournby, Lincolnshire.
Percy T. Todd, 13, born Osbournby.
Ernest G. Todd, 3, born Ipswich.
1901 10, Hornsey Park Road, Hornsey, Middlesex.
Harold was 15 years old, a boarder at the home of 60 year old, Miss Elizabeth White, a Governess of School – own account. Harold’s mother, 35 year old, Elinor Jackson was a visitor at the house.
1911 13, Heath Ville Road, Crouch Hill London.
Harold was 25 years old, a Civil Servant 3rd Class Clerk – G.P.O. He was a joint occupier with Alexander Chambers, 30, a Secretary to the Director of Public Companies + also a University Student – part time, born Leith, Mid-Lothian, Scotland.
Harold’s father was George Winslow Todd, born 1846, Great Hale, Lincolnshire, died April 1889, Ipswich. A well known Butcher of 42, Westgate Street, Ipswich. George left a widow and six young children.
Harold’s father died when he was seven years old. He was sent to be educated at Wood Green. He was diligent and painstaking, and won several prizes during his school career, receiving two of them from the hands of the late King Edward-then Prince of Wales, at the Albert Hall. He also passed the Senior Cambridge examination with Honours.
Harold attended the Royal Masonic School, Rickmansworth, Bushey, Hertfordshire 1893 – 1900.
Probate to Elinor Jackson, wife of Albert Edwin Jackson – mother.
Soldiers’ Effects to Elinor Jackson – mother.
On the 2nd March 1922 Harold’s medals were sent to his step father, Mr Albert Ernest Jackson of 42, Westgate Street, Ipswich.
Harold is remembered on the headstone of his father George Winslow Todd, at Ipswich Old Cemetery, J Section.
Harold is also remembered on the Royal Masonic School Memorial, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, and at St. Mary le Elm Church Ipswich.
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”
Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion