Born: 13th October 1885, Ipswich.
Died: 12th March 1915; age 30. KiA at Neuve Chapelle.
In April 1915, Mrs. Kate Podd, of 15, Cobbold Street, received a letter from the Front, stating that her husband was killed instantaneously, and lies buried with some other comrades on the outskirts of Neuve Chapelle.
Residence: 15, Cobbold Street, Ipswich.
Employed: as a Machinist at the Stoke factory, Ransomes & Rapier Ltd., Ipswich.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich; 2nd September 1902. Volunteered for foreign service on the outbreak of war.
Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914.
Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 106
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, ‘C’ Company, 4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.
In 1920, the body was discovered, exhumed, and identified by a Cross on the grave before reburial among many unknown/unnamed soldiers at Guards Cemetery.
Also found at the same map reference were the bodies of James Robert Liffen, 73 (identified by clothing and numerals), William Robert Mortimer, 2305, and Arthur Reginald Jacobs, 2368 (both bodies identified by an erected Cross), all Ipswich men.
VIII. E. 47.
Pas de Calais,
Relatives Notified and Address: Son of Henry and Mary Ann Podd, of Ipswich; husband of Kate Edith Elizabeth Podd, of 15, Cobbold Street, Ipswich.
1891 3, Plough Street, Ipswich.
John was 6 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Henry Podd, 34, a Painter; born Ipswich.
Mary Ann Podd (nee Button), 34; born Ipswich.
Walter Henry Podd, 9, born Ipswich.
Emma Alice Podd, 8, born Ipswich.
1901 23, Wykes Bishops Street, Ipswich.
John was 17 years old and a Labourer at the Iron Foundry. He was living with his parents & brothers.
Henry, 44, a House Painter.
Mary Ann, 44.
Walter, 9, a General Labourer.
Charles Criss Podd, 7, born Ipswich.
1911 23, Wykes Bishops Street, Ipswich.
John was 26 years old, a General Labourer at Crane Builders. He was living with his parents & brother.
Henry, 54, a House painter.
Mary Ann, 54.
Charles, 17, a Striker at a Blacksmith – Agricultural Implements.
John was educated at Cavendish Street School, Ipswich.
On the 12th March 1913, at St. John the Baptist Church, Butley, Suffolk, John Edmund Podd married Kate Edith Elizabeth Mayhew, born 1883, Butley, Suffolk – daughter of David Mayhew, a horseman on a farm and Mary Ann Mayhew (nee Kettle), of Butley.
Kate and John had one son:
John Edmund Podd, born June 1915, Ipswich.
Soldiers’ Effects to Kate Edith Elizabeth Podd – widow.
Kate Podd also lost her brother Lewis Reginald Mayhew during the First World War. Lewis was ranked a Stoker 2nd Class, service number K/35150 for the Royal Navy, aboard H.M.S. ‘Ettrick.’ On the 7th July 1917, 15 miles of Beachy Head in the English Channel ‘Ettrick’ had her bows blown off by the German submarine UC-61. Lewis was 24 years of age and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.
Additional information by Graham Jones:
Taking part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, before dawn on 12 March, the 4th Battalion was ordered to move forward from trenches at Windy Corner to the Rue de Bordeaux. As it moved off, the column was subjected to a severe artillery barrage, inflicting many casualties.
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 outskirts 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 counterattack on the 12th by the Germans. In total, the Battalion sustained 217 casualties.
Edmund is also remembered on the Ransomes & Rapier Ltd. war memorial, Bourne Park Ipswich
St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, ‘C’ Company, 4th Battalion: