Photograph courtesy of Keith.
Born: 16th September 1889, Ipswich.
Died on or since: 26th August 1914; age 24; KiA during the Battle of Le Cateau. Served 6 years.
Residence: 10, White Elm Street, Ipswich.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 15th August 1914.
Rank: Drummer/Private; Service Number: 7756
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star + Clasp.
Relatives Notified & Address: Eldest son of Jeremiah & Gertrude E. Podd, of 10, White Elm Street, Ipswich.
Nephew to JOHN PODD.
1891 15, David Street, Ipswich.
Jeremiah was a year & 6 months old and living with his parents.
Jeremiah Podd, 24, an Iron Moulder, born Ipswich.
Gertrude Elizabeth Podd (nee Knights), 21, born Ipswich.
1901 85, Albion Street, Ipswich.
Jeremiah was 11 years old and living with his parents & sisters.
Jeremiah, 33, an Engine & Machine Maker – Iron Moulder.
Beatrice Lucy Podd, 9, born Ipswich.
Gertrude May Podd, 6, born Fulham, London.
Lilian Ethel Podd, 4, born Fulham.
Ellen Agnes Podd, 1, born Ipswich.
1911 Longmoor Camp, East Liss, Hampshire.
Jeremiah was 21 years old. He was a Soldier and ranked Drummer for the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.
Jeremiah was educated at Cavendish Street School, Ipswich. Jeremiah’s Headmaster, Mr. Robert Cash, tried to keep up-to-date on news of his Old Boys of the Cavendish Street School who were serving and furnished the local newspapers with the information – good, concerning and bad.
Evening Star – Tuesday, 7th December 1915 – Mr. and Mrs. Podd, of 10, White Elm Street, Ipswich, have been informed that no further news has been received relative to their son, Private Jeremiah George Podd, of the 2nd Suffolks, who has been missing since the 26th August 1914, and that the Army Council has been constrained to conclude that he is dead. Private Podd’s father is at present serving with the 6th Suffolks.
Jeremiah’s parents – Jeremiah and Gertrude Podd – courtesy of Cheryl.
On the 20th June 1919, Mr. J. Podd, of 10, White Elm Street, Ipswich, made an application in respect for his late son’s 1914 Star.
On the 28th November, Mr. Podd applied for his son’s Clasp.
Soldiers’ Effects to Jeremiah Podd – father.
Jeremiah is also remembered on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church, Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion:
On this date, the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment is called into action at the Battle of Le Cateau
The British army was at retreat but at Le Cateau it was decided to make a stand. For many troops exhausted from their march from Le Harve followed by the battle and retreat from Mons orders were given to dig in, heavy guns brought forward in an almost Napoleonic stand against the advancing Germans.
The 2nd Battalion left Dublin on the 13th of August landing in Le Harve on the 17th and being transported by train to Le Cateau on the 18th The weather was hot and still and marched 8 miles to Landrecies from there they marched north to Belgium. A further 17 miles arriving at Mons on the 23rd of August by the 24th the British army was retiring back to France the 2nd Battalion fell back to Hamin then to St.Waast by the 26th they were back to the outskirts of Le Cateau. Extracts of an officer’s letter posted in the Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury newspaper published in December painted the scene of the battle.
3rd October, 1914
Well as far as I can give you what I actually saw, etc. I have enclosed a rough plan of the Brigades in position at Le Cateau on the 26th of August. The Battalion (2nd Suffolk) arrived at about 7 p.m. on the 25th August and bivouacked at the barn, shown at the top of the plan, and made themselves comfortable for the night, although the Germans were following close on the heels. The remainder of the Brigade was fairly close at hand.
On the 26th the Suffolks had breakfast at 3. am, and fell in at 4 a.m. to take up their allotted positions, which were about half a mile to their rear. Two of the Battalions (nos.3 and 4) of the Brigade were to occupy the trenches which had already been prepared for them, and the Suffolks (No.1 Battalion) and the 4th Battalion of the Brigade were placed in reserve. Afterwards, the Suffolks were moved out in front of the battery and No.4 Battalion to the right to protect the guns. The Suffolks had barely taken up their position and commenced to use the web equipment entrenching tool when the Germans opened fire on the battery and dropped a shell right among them. The fight developed and the regiment hung on protecting the guns but had to put up with a good deal of shelling which was intended for the Battery. They also came in for a good deal of enfilading fire from the German guns. This went on for several hours. It was difficult to feed the firing line with ammunition, especially when the German infantry drew near. Our infantry and maxim guns simply mowed them down, but still, they pushed on, and for a time they recoiled and then came on again. The Battery at one time was firing at them at about 800 yards range and I am afraid some of our men, especially of C Company (Captain Orford) got hit with his own shells. Nothing could show itself in the open without drawing a terrible and from the enemy. The first line of transport was ordered to retire and get away the best way it could. The Batteries and the Infantry Brigade stuck to their positions and continued the fire, hoping to be reinforced, as General Sir Charles Fergusson had given out that 40,000 French troops were expected. Eventually, the order to retire was given but the old Suffolks had little ammunition left and the casualties were enormous; very few men were able to retire. In the early part of the fight 50 wounded Suffolks were carried to the dressing station (but I do not know their names) and to the field hospital. These together with the other wounded were shown as “missing” with the exception of Col. Brett, who was killed early in the fight by a shell.
“I don’t know how the Division got away, we were practically surrounded, waiting for the French troops. Evidently, the Germans had a very bad time, or they would have cut off our few guns and our superior rifle fire played havoc with them. I really believe that it was the 108 Heavy Battery that saved the situation and covered our retirement.
In the infantry Brigade, two of the battalions lost their first line of transport. The Suffolks just manage to save theirs, thanks to the Transport officer (Lieut. Oakes) and Sergt. Major Burton. I was with the supply and baggage train in the village when I was not watching the fight. When I mustered the Battalion the following was the strength three officers including Capt. Phelan R.A.M.C (medical officer) Lieut. Oakes (transport Officer) and 217 men. We kept our place in the Brigade, having been re-enforced from home by Special Reserve officers and men. We are now attached to General Headquarters Army Troop (General French) for a short time. Captain Hausberg is in command of us at present, but Leut-Col. Clifford is expected soon. I am glad to say I am in very good health but have had a very hard time of it. The Suffolks are very fit and keen, but a rest from the trenches they have recently vacated will be good.”
Ipswich men who died from the 2nd Battalion 26th August 1914:
Private. Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 20
Jeremiah George Podd
Private Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 25
William James Roper
Private Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 28
Private Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 30
Wallace Michael Bristo
Private Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 30
Private Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion age 31
It is believed the Suffolk Regiment the 2nd Battalion recorded 720 casualties killed wounded and missing.40,000 British troops fort in the battle 7,812 British casualties 2,600 taken prisoner German losses were estimated at 2,900. At this time trench warfare was in its infancy, trenches were shallow scrapes in the ground with little protection from bursting shrapnel shells as the months moved on more time was taken in the preparation of the trenches and at this point, steel helmets were not issued throughout the British army.