Born: 1876, Ipswich.

Died: 12th March 1915; age 39; KiA near Neuvre Chapelle.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914.


Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 73

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.


In 1920, the body was discovered, exhumed, and identified by clothing and numerals, before reburial among many unknown/unnamed soldiers at Guards Cemetery.

Also found at the same map reference were the bodies of John Edmund Podd 106 (identified by clothing and numerals), William Robert Mortimer, 2305, and Arthur Reginald Jacobs, 2368 (both bodies identified by an erected Cross), all Ipswich men.



Grave Reference:


Guards Cemetery,

Windy Corner,


Pas de Calais,





1881   Sun Lane, Woodbridge, Suffolk.


James was 4 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Robert William Liffen, 30, a Stone Sawyer, born Ipswich.

Elizabeth Priscilla Liffen (nee Burch), 31, a Machinist, born Ipswich.

Beatrice Alice Liffen, 3, born Ipswich.

Leonard Leopold Liffen, 2, born Ipswich.


1891   14, Suffolk Road, Ipswich.


James was 14 years old, a Baker’s Errand Boy. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Robert, 42, a Stone Sawyer’s Labourer.

Elizabeth, 40, a Tailor’s Machinist.

Beatrice, 13.

Leonard, 10.

Evelyn May Liffen, 9, born Ipswich.

William Basil Liffen, 8, born Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.

Hephzibah Amy Liffen, 7, born Ipswich.

Walter Alfred F. Liffen, 3, born Ipswich.

Stannard Ernest B. Liffen, 10 months, born Ipswich.


1901   33, Lower Orwell Street, Ipswich.


James was 25 years old, a widower, a General Labourer. He and his 2 year old daughter were living with his parents & siblings.

Robert, 54, a Stone Sawyer.

Elizabeth, 50.

Leonard, 22, a General Labourer.

William, 18, a General Labourer.

Ettie (Hephzibah), 16.

Alfred, 13.

Arthur (Stannard), 11.

Ellen, 2.


1911   19, Rose Lane, Ipswich.


James was 34 years old, a General Labourer – Ipswich Sanitary Authorities. He was married and Head of the Household.

Mary, 34.

Ellen, 12.

Robert, 2.


East Anglian Daily Times – Tuesday, 9th August 1892.


On Monday, 8th August 1892, 16 year old James and his friend, 15 year old William Kemp, of Cemetery Road, were before the Mayor (C.H.Cowell, Esq.), J. May, R.M. Miller, and A. Wrinch, Esqrs. James and William were charged with stealing 2 ilbs. of butter, vavlued at 2s. 6d., the property of Mr. C.W. Owen, Gresham Lodge, Westerfield Road. – Police-constable Farthing noticed the defendants on the Westerfield Road on Saturday, and being suspicious, watched their movements. Liffen was carrying something in a red handkerchief, which he afterwards hid in some brambles at the side of Christchurch Park. The constable then stopped them. The parcel, which contained butter, had “Owen” marked on it. – Ellen Brooks, a domestic servant on the employ of Mr. Owen, said she placed the butter near the pantry window on the Friday night; the following morning it was gone. Defendants pleaded guilty, and were each fined 10s.6d., or 14 days’.


In 1897, Ipswich, James married Ellen Fordham, born 1878, Ipswich – died 1899, Ipswich.

They had 1 daughter:

Ellen Maud Liffen, born 1898, Ipswich.


In 1905, in the district of Plomesgate, Suffolk, James married Mary Collins, born 1876, Rendlesham, Suffolk.

They had 1 son:

Robert Basil Liffen, born April 1908, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Mary Liffen – widow.


James is also remembered on the war memorial at ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S CHURCH, Ipswich.



The Battle of Neuve Chapelle 10th – 13th March 1915 was the first planned British offensive of the war. The objective was to take the German line at the Village of Neueve Chapelle and break out and head towards the City of Lille, with the main objective taking the Aubers Ridge beyond which was of strategic value. The Battle started well with a heavy bombardment of the German line (more shells fired on this occasion than the entire Boer War) with an advance which successfully took most of the first and second line trenches, but due to poor communications stalled once the village had been taken. The Germans then had time to set up more defensive lines outside of the village and hold the British advance. 40,000 British and Indian troops took part in the Battle with over 10,000+ Casualties.

Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

The 4th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment entered the battle on the 11th of March taking up positions on the out skirts of the Neuve Chapelle facing the Bois Du Biez which later were ordered to occupy. The 4th Battalion lost many men through shelling on their positions followed by a counter attack on the 12th by the Germans. In total the Battalion sustained 217 casualties.

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment






One Comment

  • This is my Great-Great Grandfather. My father was named after him. I have visited his grave in Windy Corner and have a few photographs of it and some copies of war records I’ve found, but no photograph of him unfortunately.


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