Born: 21st December 1883, Ipswich.

Died: 12th October 1916; age 32; KiA at the Battle of Transloy

Evening Star – Tuesday, 31st July 1917 – Mrs. Harriet S. Osborn, of 12, Dorkin Street, Ipswich, has just received information from the War Office that her husband, 43201 Private John J. Osborn, was killed in action on the 12th October 1916, leaving a widow and five children.

Residence: 12, Dorkin Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.

Occupation: Turner – Iron Foundry.

Enrolment into the Royal Navy: Location: Chatham; Date: 14th August 1899. Height: 5ft 3 1/4ins, ruddy complexion, dark brown eyes, and brown hair. Tattooed on both forearms and a butterfly on the left hand. Signed up for 12 years on the 21st December 1901.



Boscawen – Boy 2nd Class – 14th August 1899

Boscawen – Boy 1st Class – 17th May 1900 – 2nd August 1900

Minotaur – Boy 1st Class – 3rd August 1900 – 10th December 1900

Agincourt – Boy 1st Class – 11th December 1900 – 31st December 1900

Blenheim – 1st January 1901

Blenheim – Ordinary Seaman – 21st December 1901

Blenheim – Able Seaman – 10th May 1903 – 3rd June 1905 – left the service to join the 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

Character – Very Good.


Enlistment Location: Ipswich.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 43201

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.

Formerly 2253, Suffolk Regiment, 3rd Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.


Memorial Reference:

Pier & Face 1C & 2A,

Thiepval Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of James & Mary Osborn, of 9, Dorkin Street, St. Clements; husband of Harriett Susannah Osborn of 14, Dorkin Street, Ipswich.




1891   22, Arthur Street, St. Helen’s, Ipswich.


John was 7 years old and living with his parents & brother.

James Osborn, 29, a Machinist – Driller, born Ipswich.

Mary Ann Osborn (nee Catchpole), 29, born Ipswich.

Jacob Osborn, 2, born Ipswich.


1911   88, Borough Road, Ipswich.


John was 28 years old, a Driller – Iron Foundry. He was married and head of the household.

Harriett, 29.

Robert Collins, 11.

Elsie, 4.

Ethel, 2.

father – James, 49, a Driller – Iron Foundry.

mother – Mary Anne, 50.

brother – Jacob, 23, a Mill Fitter – Iron Foundry.

cousin – Florence Maud Catchpole, 22, a Paper Bag Maker, born Ipswich.

cousin – Violet Ethel Catchpole, 17, a Factory Hand – Corset Factory, born Ipswich.


In 1906, Ipswich, John married Harriet Susannah Collins, born June 1881, Clapton, London – daughter of Arthur Richard Collins, a house painter, and Susannah Collins (nee Hammond), of 3, Hill Street, Ipswich.


John & Harriet had four children:

Elsie Maria Osborn, born May 1906, Ipswich.

Ethel Florence Osborn, born January 1909, Ipswich.

John Frederick Osborn, born September 1913, born Ipswich.

Beatrice Helen Osborn, born 3rd October 1916.


John also became father to Harriet’s son Robert Arthur Frederick Collins, born December 1900, at 16, Boston Road, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Harriet S. Osborn – widow.



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 overnight, 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 2 pm coming immediately under a very heavy crossfire 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 officers, and men. Luet. Eagle is reported to have died fighting in the German first line, into which he had forced an entrance alone. 2nd 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 fact 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:

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment


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