Born: 3rd November 1896, Stoke, Ipswich.
Died: On the morning of the 21st December 1914; age 18; KiA – Allonagne. He had served with the battalion nearly 2 years.
Residence: 38, Pauline Street, Ipswich.
Employed: Core Maker at the Moulding Shop, at Ransomes & Rapier Ltd., Ipswich.
Enlistment Details: Location: Ipswich; Date: 21st April 1913.
Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 1675
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.
Pas de Calais,
1901 38, Pauline Street, Ipswich.
Nelson was 4 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Joseph Kirby, 35, an Iron Moulder, born Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
Sarah Kirby (nee Groves), 40, born Polstead, Suffolk.
Joseph Kirby, 11, born Smethwick, Staffordshire.
Violet Kirby, 9, born Ipswich.
Bertie Kirby, 6, born Ipswich.
Harold Kirby, 2, born Ipswich.
1911 38, Pauline Street, Ipswich.
Nelson was 14 years old, an Errand Boy – Tobacco Factory. He was living with his widowed father & siblings.
Joseph, 45, an Iron Foundry Labourer – General Engineers.
Joseph, 21, a Carpenter.
Violet, 21, Housekeeper.
Bertie, 16, an Iron Foundry Labourer – General Engineers.
Nelson’s mother, Sarah Kirby died, 1908, Ipswich.
Soldiers’ Effects to Joseph Kirby – father.
Nelson is also remembered on the Ransomes & Rapier Ltd. war memorial, Bourne Park, Ipswich.
On 20 December 1914 the Battalion moved towards La Basee where B Company was ordered across the canal and into the line at Givenchy with the 1st Manchesters. Before noon, the enemy succeeded in capturing parts of Givenchy but by 5.00pm the village was regained. Throughout the night, the enemy made repeated attempts to retake the village but without success. This gallant defence was mentioned in despatches by Sir John French. On 21 December, having suffered only light losses, the 5th Suffolks were relieved by a Brigade of Guards and on 22 December returned to billets at Beuvry.
(Extra information provided by Graham Jones)
On 20th December 1914 the 4th Battalion the Suffolk’s reached the village of Givenchy next to La Bombe Crossroads, near Neuve-Chapelle, and La Bassée Canal. Setting out from the village of Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, B Company crossed the canal and joined the 1st Manchester Regiment at the Village line. C- Company on the edge of the canal rise and D-Company in the support trenches at the brewery. A-Company became the reserve in Cuinchy. During that afternoon the Germans attacked and captured a large part of the village but were repelled by the 1st Battalion the Manchester Regiment and “B”- Company 4th Suffolk Regiment Casualties were recorded as “light” this was one of the first battles the 4th Battalion took part in of the defence of Givenchy. 22nd December the Battalion left the line returning to Beuvry.
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion: