Ipswich Stories

Ipswich World War Two Memorial

In the 1990’s, an Ipswich school girl, 11 year old, Sarah Bloomfield began campaigning for a focal point to remember the fallen men and women from Ipswich who were lost during WW2. Sarah’s grandfather, 23 year old, Albert Bloomfield had been killed on the 21st May 1941, during the bombing attack on H.M.S. Juno, at Crete. She was saddened that her father Conway had nowhere to visit in the town to see his father’s name. Sarah wrote many letters to find support to remember the fallen of Ipswich, including letters to the Prime Minister, John Major.

In May 1995, the Evening Star newspaper joined together with the Royal British Legion to launch the ‘Forgotten Heroes’ campaign.

The Evening Star used the headline “Our Shame”

Sarah’s campaign was successful and raised £10,000. In November 1995, a Roll of Honour in the form of a book of remembrance was dedicated during a poignant service held at St. Matthew’s Church.

The book was placed on permanent display at the Tourist Information Centre, St. Stephen’s Church. (Now closed down) The Mayor Cllr Roger Fern received the final version of the Book on behalf of the Borough, presented by the Ipswich branch of the RBL in 2004.

In 2020, the book was moved to a new location at Ipswich Museum, High Street Ipswich.

Just over 600 names had been submitted to the ‘Forgotten Heroes’ campaign, to be included on the memorial. However, this was 50 years after the end of the war – many relatives had died, or moved out of the area. We now know that so many names have been missed.

Finally, on the 16th May 2004, the WW2 memorial was unveiled in Christchurch Park. The bronze memorial was erected alongside the 1,481 names of the men who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in WW1.

The memorial wall was replaced to house the new plaques, as well as remedial work on the Cenotaph, with the costs reaching over £100,000. The money was raised from public donations and the help of Ipswich Borough Council. The Council is responsible for maintaining the cenotaph and memorial at Christchurch Park.

H.M. Lord Lieutenant Tollemache unveiled the plaque with the Civic acceptance from the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr. Penny Breakwell.

The Royal British Legion branch president Mr. Reg Driver and branch Chairman Mr. Peter Thompson led the proceedings with The Reverend Cannon Peter Townley, The Bishop of Edmundsbury and Father Foster taking prayers and blessings.

Hymns included “For The Fallen” and “I Vow To Thee My Country.”

The Royal Hospital School Band provided the buglers for the ‘Last Post’ with Standards from the R.B.L.

A poem “Who Are These Men” was read by Miss Sarah Bloomfield, the schoolgirl campaigner.

Following the ceremony the crowds were entertained by the Royal Hospital School marching band, ceremonial guard and Sunset Ceremony on the Mansion Green.

Remembrance Sunday 1983.

Remembrance Sunday 1983.

(Images courtesy of Harry Hawksworth)

The newspapers described “Huge crowds” for Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade at Christchurch Park in 1983. Branch Chairman Mr. Reg Driver taking charge of the proceedings, with Mr. Ted Wells the Royal British Legion Padre conducting the service. The Salvation Army Band played hymns for the third year. A special service was also held at St. Mathew’s Church for the disabled and infirmed.
It was a bright November morning, the Civic parade was led by the Mayor of Ipswich Cllr. Doug Grimwood and Deputy Mayor Cllr. Ann Smith followed by Vice-Admiral Sir Frank Mason (High Steward). Judge Bertrand Richards (Hon. Recorder), Mr Jim Savage (CE IBC), Councillors and dignitaries of Ipswich Borough Council.
25 wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph for the men who had died in two World Wars and on active service in Northern Ireland and the Falklands war.
It is nice to see the crowds have grown from 2,000 in 1983 to over 5,000+ people in 2019. Note in the 1983 pictures the WW1 & WW2 veterans. That week in the newspapers reported WW1 veterans were interviewed, described as the “Last of the Few.”

Ipswich Branch Chairman and WW2 veteran Mr. Reg Driver continued his role well into the 2000’s.

1983 – Remembrance Service and Wreath laying hit the headlines in the following day’s newspapers for the wrong reasons. In the Evening Star & East Anglian Daily Times it was reported that a Cambridge University student had kicked the Wreaths into a pile at the foot of the Ipswich Cenotaph and set fire to all 25 wreaths. He was caught by the police and arrested. In the Magistrates court it was said Mr. ……. aged 26 “he did not like War” but was noted Mr. ……. was suffering from mental health problems. Each wreath was valued at £7.50 and damage to the tarmac £80. The act was described as “a mean and nasty offence.” Mr. ……..  pleaded guilty and was admitted to a mental health institution and a trail was set for a later date.
A second service and wreath laying ceremony was held the next day to replace the 25 wreaths.


Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury Newpaper 9th November 1934


Arrangements for the Ipswich observance of the anniversary of the Armistice have now been compiled.

The Two Minutes’ Silence will be kept on the Cornhill at 11a.m., and subsequently the Mayor and Corporation and ex-servicemen’s organisation will proceed to the Cenotaph in Christchurch Park, where they will be joined by other representative bodies, and participate in a service of remembrance, at which the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich will give the address.

The East Anglian Daily Times has received the following letter from the Mayor and Mayor-elect on the subject of the Cornhill observance:

To the Editor.

Sir,- It has been arranged that hooters from Orwell Works, Waterside Works and Nacton Works shall give simultaneously, at 11 a.m., the signal for “The Silence” on Sunday, November 11th. May we ask that no other sound signals be utilised? Drivers of cars are requested to stop their engines, and members of the public are asked to keep their dogs away from the Cornhill.

P.W. COBBOLD (Mayor)
G.A. MALLETT (Mayor-elect).
A. MARY JOB (Organiser).

From 10:30a.m. the British Legion Band will play selections on the Cornhill, and the subsequent arrangements are as follows:-

10:55 a.m.-The Mayor and members of the Council, the High Steward of the Borough, the Member for the Borough, the Lord Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich and others take up position on the Town Hall steps.

11:00 a.m.- Waterside Works, Orwell Works, and Nacton Works hooters sound for “The Silence.”

11:2 a.m.- Hooters sound for end of “The Silence.”

After the sounding of “The Last Post” a short service will be conducted by the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. “O God, our Help in Ages Past” will be sung, prayers said by the Lord Bishop and by the Rev. S. S. Shurbsole, B. D. (President of the Free Church Council), and the Lord’s Prayer (in which all are requested to join) will be recited. “The ReveIlle” will afterwards be sounded, and the service will conclude with the Blessing and the National Anthem.


Members of the Royal Artillery Association, the Guards’ Association, the Coldstream Guards’ Association, the Old Contemptibles, the British Legion, and the L.N.E.R. Old Comrades’ Association will parade in Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich, at 11:45 a.m. under the command of Colonel G. W. Horsfield, T.D., O.B.E., with Lieut.-Colonel Harold Hooper, M.C., as Adjutant, and Sergt.- Major Dawes. They will march to the Cenotaph. The Mayor and Corporation, with the Bishop and clergy, will form a procession from the Town Hall to the Cenotaph, where the civic dignitaries and the ex-Service parade will find representatives of the 4th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment, the Women’s Section of the British Legion, Toc H, the St. John Ambulance, Mason Linen Guild, R.A.O.B., the Boys’ Brigade and Life Boys, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides and Brownies, and the Salvation Army, in the positions allotted to them facing the Cenotaph. Combined choirs of the town will lead the singing, under the conductorship of Mr. Jonathan Job, F.R.C.O.

The service will commence between 12:20 and 12:30 p.m., with the hymn, ” O God, our help in ages past,” and the address by the Bishop will be preceded by prayers by the Rev. R. Sinker, and a reading of Scripture by the Rev. O. D. Wiles, M.C. After the singing of “For all the saints,” the Mayor and representatives of organisations will place wreaths on the Cenotaph; and the service will conclude with “The Last Post,” an interval of silence. “The Reveille,” the Benediction, and the National Anthem.

A cross of remembrance will be placed in position in front of the Cenotaph on Friday, and Flanders Poppies may be placed therein during Saturday and Sunday.


1929 Mayor James Francis Clark Hossack. (centre right) Ipswich Branch Chairman Lt H. F. Peaty MM.

(Summer 1929 ) 



Post cards showing floral tributes soon after the unveiling.


The unveiling programme 1924


The Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper article dated 6th May 1924, on the unveiling on the 3rd May 1924.


A solemn and impressive ceremony marked for unveiling on Saturday by distinguished representatives of the Navy and the Army of the war memorial at Christchurch Park, Ipswich and several  moving incidents marked the occasion of the ceremony, when hundreds of relatives filed past the base of the cenotaph and deposited floral tributes to their dead.


General regret was expressed that the illness of Lord Derby prevented him from fulfilling his engagement to perform the formal unveiling and there was further disappointment when it became known that the sudden indisposition of the Mayor of the Borough (Dr. J. Staddon) made it impossible for the civic head to attend. Despite the eleventh-hour alterations to the programme, however, the proceedings were carried through with smoothness, grace and dignity, in the presence of a vast concourse of townspeople.


Although the memorial has previously been described in the East Anglian Daily Times, it should briefly be stated the cenotaph and the panels containing the names of the fallen constitute only one phase of the tribute which Ipswich is paying to its sons who fell in the war. What must be considered as the practical part of the Borough War Memorial is the new wing to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, which combined with the East Suffolk war memorial, provides a valuable and much needed addition to that worthy institution. Work is steadily proceeding in connection with the Hospital scheme, and it is hoped that the memorial wing will be formally opened in the early Autumn. While, for purely financial reasons, the new buildings are hardly on the scale which was originally visualised by the Secretary to the Hospital (Mr. Arthur Griffiths). The amended plans nevertheless retain the essentials of the original scheme, and the extension will, in every sense, be a worthy commemoration of the valour and self sacrifice of the men of Ipswich during the war.

other-memorials                img_7736

The Christchurch Park Memorial takes the rear of a cenotaph backed by a screen wall, bearing bronze panels, on which are cast in block projecting letters the 1,481 names of the fallen, together with their units and branches of the Forces in which they served. The decoration of the screen is in a laurel wreath design, and in the centre of the wall is a symbolical bronze casting of a Greek lamp. The cenotaph is, in a sense, separated from the area devoted to the tablets, for these may be approached  from separate flights of stone steps. The plinth of the cenotaph, which is inscribed to “Our Glorious Dead” is approached by five steps, and the observed can not but be impressed by the fine conception of the bronze trophy of arms in the foreground, the symbolising the accoutrements of the war laid astride. It is built up of equipment, including regimental standards, bundles of lances, machine-guns and a Stokes trench gun, with tripod and shells. Incidentally, it may be observed that the inclusion of the Stokes gun (invented by the distinguished Ipswich engineer, whose name it bears) is  especially appropriate, reflecting, as it does, anther side of the many contributions of the town towards the herculean national effort which ultimately secured the victory for our arms. The trophy is bound together with representations of cords, and draped with the Union Jack and St. George’s Banner. In its centre is depicted the familiar personal equipment of the soldier – a haversack, trenching tool, water bottle and gas mask, interwoven with stems of oak and laurel leaves, and surmounted by a rifle and helmet. On the rear side of the memorial is the dedication tablet, surmounted by the Borough Arms, and bearing the words, “In grateful memory of the men of Ipswich who gave their lives for their country, this memorial and the Hospital war memorial wing were erected by their fellow citizens.”


Mr Edward Adams, A.R.I.B.A., of Manchester was responsible for the design of the memorial, which was thrown open to competition by all British architects, over 200 of whom submitted drawings. The underlying principle of Mr. Adams’s conception is repose, obtained by the horizontal distribution of the masses of the screen, broken and contrasted by the vertical mass of the cenotaph, the general effect being rather severe. The memorial stands on raising ground, in a sheltered and quiet corner of the park, and it has as its setting a group of magnificent poplars in the rear. Constructed  in Portland stone of particularly fine quality, it does infinite credit to the contractors, Messrs. Collins and Curtis, of Ipswich, a firm in which both partners are ex-service men. The bronze work was executed with great care by Messrs. Earp, Hobbs and Miller, sculptors, of Manchester, and the ensemble adds richly to the beauties of the park. The foreground, the path leading to the cenotaph, and the “surround” were executed by the Borough Surveyor (Mr. S. Little) and his department.


The suitability of the site of the memorial for the commemoration services which will undoubtedly be held in its vicinity in years to come was amply demonstrated on Saturday, when the large congregation in close proximity to the cenotaph was able to take its full share in the memorable service.  Obviously it was impossible to provide special accommodation for all the many thousands who attended, but reserved enclosures were provided for the relatives of the fallen, for soldiers in uniform but not on parade and ex-service men wearing medals, and for those who are closely associated with the civil life of Ipswich. It was a graceful act on the part of several large subscribers to the memorial fund to stand aside on Saturday in order that those who were intimately concerned with these valiant men of Ipswich might have the facilities which were their just due, and the ladies and gentleman who were mingled with the throng on the outskirts of the enclosures are to be commended for their kindly consideration that they showed. Through the distribution of many hundreds of copies of the order of service, however, all were enabled to follow the proceedings intelligently and reverently, and it was, indeed, with a striking reverence that the throng  took up the opening lines of  Kipling’s “Recessional,” sung to the time-mellowed tune, Melita.


A guard of honour, composed of 34 officers and 542 other ranks, and representing the 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, the Royal Navy, the R.A.F., Coast Artillery, 58th Medium Artillery, 103rd R.F.A., the R.A.V.C., the F.A., and Ipswich School, flanked either side of the wide path leading to the steps of the of the memorial, and during the assembly of the congregation the band of the 2nd Suffolk’s played the first movement of Schubert’s Dramatic Symphony in B minor, and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s overture, “In Memoriam” in C major. The Deputy Mayor (Mr. A. Sizer), who officiated in place of the Mayor, and who wore his Worship’s scarlet robe and chain walked in state from the Town Hall to Christchurch Park, preceded by the sword and mace bearers, and accompanied by Lieut. General Sir Ayhmer Hunter-Weston, M.P., Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Webb, the Mayoress (Mrs. Staddon), the officers commanding the various military and naval units which took part in the proceedings. Col. Garrett, Canon A.L.Woodard (who carried the Bishop’s pastoral staff, and made a last public appearance as Rural Dean of Ipswich), Canon H.A. Douglas-Hamilton (St. Mary-le-Tower Church, the Rev. J.A Patten, M.C. (representing Free Churchmen), the High Steward of Ipswich (Sir Edward Packard), the Borough Member (Mr. Robert F. Jackson, the ex Chairmen of the War Memorial Committee (Messrs. E.C. Ransome, F.E. Rands, Frank Mason and Wm. Pipe), members of the Town Council Magistrates, members of the War Memorial Committee, various guests and the town officials. Assembled on the ground between the memorial and the Mansion were members of the Girl Guides, Boys Brigade, Boy Scouts, who paraded as companies, troops or units.


The unveiling of both the cenotaph and the name panels was performed simultaneously, Sir Richard Webb releasing the Union Jack which enshrouded the cenotaph, and Sir Ayhner Hunter-Western removing the flags which covered the screen wall. As the bunting fluttered in the ground, the distinguished representatives of the sister services and the Guard of Honour came to the salute, and addresses were subsequently given.


The second portion of the ceremony was of a religious character, and Canon Douglas Hamilton stepped forward to read a short Lesson from Revelations. Dedication prayers by the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich were followed by a two minutes’ silence, broken only by the birds in the trees and the faint chatter of little children, borne on the breeze from across the park, where the tots were at play, unmindful of incapable of understanding the emotions of their elders. “Stand at ease” came a clear, crisp command to the guard, and the period of tension was broken. The Rev. John A. Patten, M.C., who wore khaki,  afterwards uttered prayers for all who suffered in the war and for the peace of the people, and the “Last Post” was sounded by buglers of the 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment.


Before the formal procedure of handing over the memorial to the custody of the Mayor and burgesses of Ipswich for all time, the Ipswich Male Voice Choir, conducted by the Borough Organist (Mr. J. Job) gave a sweet, unaccompanied rendering of “The Reveille” (Edgar.) At its conclusion Mr. E.C. Ransome requested the Deputy Mayor to accept the memorial on behalf of the town, and he took the opportunity to return thanks to the subscribers to the memorial funds. He said that the bulk of the money was to be devoted to the building of the new memorial wing at the Hospital, but it was also felt that the names of the fallen should be recorded in some public place, and the cenotaph and screen unveiled that day were the results of that desire. The money subscribed, together with accumulated interest and the appreciation in the value of some of the investments, amounted to £50,000 in round figures. In the course of various acknowledgements, the speaker referred with gratitude to the work of Major G.R.C. Stuart in collecting and arranging the names which appeared on the memorial, and, turning to the Deputy Mayor, he said: “In the absence of the Mayor through illness, I have pleasure in asking you to accept this memorial, and to take it into your permanent care.”

“I accept, on behalf of the Mayor and the citizens of Ipswich, this beautiful memorial, which has been erected to the memory of those who have gone before and have left honour behind them,” replied Mr. Sizer.” I will take care, as far as I am able, that this cenotaph shall be carefully guarded, and that it shall receive the necessary attention to keep it the lasting memorial that it shall be for all time in honour of these men.”

A handsome wreath was placed on the memorial on behalf of the borough, and numerous officers carried to the base of the cenotaph floral tributes offered by the military, naval, and Air Force units. The memorable service concluded with the singing of “O God, our Help in ages past,” a bugle reveille the Blessing by the Bishop, and the singing of the National Anthem.


The Mayoral procession having left the cenotaph, a poignant scene followed as the relatives filed to the cenotaph to place their floral tributes at its foot. Many hundreds of wreaths were borne to the memorial, and in numerous cases mothers and widows were overcome by grief and fainted. Skilled assistance was gently administered by members of the Ipswich Corps of the St. John Ambulance organisation, who had quite a busy time during the comparatively brief period that the service lasted. Under Corps Supt. I. Pawsey, there were 68 officers and men, and under Lady Corps Supt. Haggar 32 nurses, with temporary headquarters at the Mansion. In all 56 cases were dealt with chiefly fainting. Four of the cases, however, were of a more serious nature and had to be moved in the motor ambulance, three to their homes in Ipswich, and one, a naval lad to the sick bay at Shotley. During the major part of the ceremony the sun was very powerful and the heat was very noticeable. At the conclusion of the ceremony Sir Ayhmer Hunter-Weston, who is a Knight Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem to England, paid a special visit to the Ambulance Station to congratulate both men and women of the brigade on their smart turnout and efficient work.

After the unveiling, guards were posted at the memorial by the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, and sentries kept a vigil until dusk. At the conclusion of the service the Territorial bandsmen, under the conductorship of Mr. Lewin Taylor, played a two-hours’ programme of music, including “Pomp and Circumstance No. 4” (Elgar), “Le Chevalier Breton,” (Herman), “Humming” (L. Brean), “Up from Somerset” (Sanderson), “Sally” (Jerome Kern), “Bells of Ousley” (bell soloist, Bandsman Aldous), a new Sullivan selection arranged by Dan Godfrey, and a regimental march. Facilities were given to the Boys’ Brigades, Scouts, and Girl Guides to march past the cenotaph, and subsequently the general public were given opportunities to make a closer inspection of it. Large numbers of people again visited the memorial on Sunday, when sentries were once more posted by the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment.

Post cards from 1924 (the following day from the unveiling) courtesy of Mr. Paul Horne


Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury 19th January 1923.

The erection of the Christchurch Park memorial is being rapidly proceeded with by Messrs. Collins and Curtis Ltd., the local builders, who tendered successfully for the work. With the exception of the bronze castings, the whole of the work will be done in Ipswich. The public may be reminded that with regard to the site for the memorial, the difficulty was to provide anywhere but in the Park a memorial of such size and appropriateness as would take the long list of names which was desired to record. Various positions in the town was considered, and with some reluctance rejected, as it was generally felt desirable to erect the memorial in as public a place as possible. The Park site is the best obtainable, and it has the merit of being quite near the town, but in a part of the Park which maybe described as quiet and is therefore suitable for the holding of annual memorial services and for the visits of relatives. The design was the subject of a competition under the auspices of the Royal Institute of British Architects, whose President supported the assessor Mr. H.B. Ashley, a well known architect.

The memorial is expected to be completed early in June, and will then be unveiled by the Right Hon. the Earl Derby, K.G. Minister of War.

The site of the Memorial where the work is now being pushed forward

A drawing showing how the Memorial will look when completed.




SUFFOLK CHRONICLE AND MERCURY, Friday, November 15th, 1918.

The scenes in Ipswich were unprecedented. Shortly after the news was received practically all business ceased and crowds ever increasing, thronged the streets, singing, waving flags, discharging fireworks, and generally letting their long pent-up feelings loose. At noon the Cornhill was packed from end to end when the Mayor (Mr. E.C. ), in full state, accompanied by members of the Corporation and other public bodies in the town, appeared to officially announce the joyful news. The scene and the magnificent sound of the National Anthem, which followed will be remembered for a long time by those who were present.

img_8249An artist impression of the town hall steps with the Mayor and council members.

Towards dusk the relaxing of the lighting restrictions was taken advantage of as fully as was possible, and the street scenes became even more boisterous. But whilst these scenes were being enacted in the streets, in many of the churches and chapels large congregations assembled to return their thanks for the many blessings which had been vouchsafed  during the terrible time now happily past. At Mary-le-Tower Church the Mayor attended with members of the Corporation, and the Bishop of the Diocese delivered an earnest and appropriate address. Arrangements had been made for a joint parade of the Volunteer units in the town, but at the last minutes this was vetoed, and the crowd had to be content with listening to the strains of the Volunteer Band, bravely trying to make itself heard above the continuous cheering and discharge of fireworks. On a minor scale the rejoicings were continued on Tuesday, but the crowds were by no means so large.

suffolk records office

SUFFOLK CHRONICLE AND MERCURY, Friday, November 20th, 1918.


As a result of the success which attended the publication of the Woodbridge Zeppelin raid on the page last week, we now present to our readers photographs taken by our staff photographer of the damage done in Key Street, Ipswich, in the Zeppelin raid of Friday, March 31st, 1916. Like the Woodbridge pictures, permission was granted to take these photographs on condition that they were not published until the restrictions on circulating news of air raids should be removed.


The raid in which the damage depicted above was done was not the first occasion on which the town on the Orwell had suffered from the unwelcome attentions of hostile aircraft, as some twelve months previously a fly-by-night Hun aircraft dropped incendiary bombs in the western district of the town, img_8256setting fire to three houses in Brooks Hall Road, which were completely gutted. As that raid was fully reported, with illustrations, it is unnecessary now to make further reference to it. But on many other nights especially during the dark period of the moon, our towns people had heard the nerve-tensing drone of the Zeppelin engines overhead, and listened to the crashing explosions of bombs, which fortunately dropped where they did no harm,img_8257

But on Friday, March 31st, 1916, about 7.30, the then familiar cry of “lights out” was heard in the streets, and quickly everything was in darkness, many people hurrying home, so as not to be in the streets if anything should happen. The raider which visited the town arrived quicker than was expected, and just after the five minutes to eight “bull” sounded a img_8259reverberating report was heard, followed a few minutes afterward by a second. A telephone message to the Central Police Station from No.2 Station at the Custom House advised the authorities  that a bomb had been dropped in Key Street completely demolishing one cottage and seriously damaging a house, separated by a driftway from the cottage. The inhabitants of the damaged houses had miraculous escapes, but fortunately had nothing more serious than a severe fright and shaking. But the raid did not prove  barren of victims as a man named David Bishop Cattermole, aged 57, who was passing through Key Street at the time was killed, and a soldier  and two women were injured, whilst the noise of the explosion proved fatal to two women in feeble health, who succumbed to shock. The clock in the Custom House tower was smashed, whilst the flying fragments of the bomb deeply seared the adjourning and opposite walls, whilst numerous windows were blown out. An incendiary bomb was also dropped at the same time as the explosive, but failed  to ignite, and was removed intact.


After dropping the bomb which did the damage in Key Street, the Zeppelin proceeded straight across the Wet Dock to the New Cut, and where immediately in front of the Ipswich Malting Company’s premises dropped another bomb which fell in to the river, this being removed the next day by the military.  Turning practically at right angles , the raider proceeded towards the Stoke Bathing Place. From what can be reconstructed from the next happenings. it seems  that the Huns were either trying for the Lock Gates or for the Waterside Works as they dropped a bomb inside the bathing enclosure, wrecking several of the bathing huts and blowing a huge hole in the bank. Whatever their object, both the Lock Gates and the Waterside Works had a very lucky escape as the former place is not more than 300 yards distant from where the bomb fell, whilst the latter place is not so far removed. Had either objectives been struck the damage must have been considerable for in the first case  the trade of the port would have been disorganised, whilst in the latter case, one shudders to think what might have happened as regard loss of life, as Messrs. Ransomes and Rapiers’ works were engaged on the manufacture of munitions, employing a large number of hands, who owing  to the course of events, had not sufficient time to get clear of the premises. The hindrance to the output of war material would also have been serious.


9th August 1917 The 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment

Throughout the summer months the 7th battalion remained in the Arras sector following the Aprils action (Battle of Arras) the remnants were organised into two weak companies and used in the Monchy sector in raiding activity. On the 9th August As soon as it was light the artillery began to bombard a belt of enemy trenches 2000 yards long 300 yards deep, the bombardment being continued throughout the hours of daylight. While this was in progress the front line was very thinly held, the bulk of the battalion being in caves in its own headquarters line. During the evacuation of the front line Captain L.A.G. Bowen, MC and 2nd Lieut. A. Green were gassed with phosgene shells. At 19:45 p.m the strong patrols and raiders, began moving forward under a creeping barrage, the 7th Battalion heading towards Bois du Vert and the Mound. Within a short time prisoners began to trickle in. A soon as the German first line had been reached a box barrage was put down and his second line raided. The operation was a marked success, and though the casualties were heavy, valuable information was obtained and great damage inflicted. The Battalion brought back sixty-nine prisoners and two machine guns. Captain Morbey was killed on his own parapet, after the raid was over by fire from a German aeroplane.

Extracts from The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-27 Lieut. Colonel C.C.R.Murphy

Men lost on this day:



Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion

Castle Street, Ipswich

age 24


Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion

Hatfield Road, Ipswich

age 26


Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion

Coronation Road, Ipswich, St. John’s, Ipswich.

age 20


Suffolk Regiment; 7th Battalion

Kingston Road, Ipswich

age 21


Suffolk Regiment; 7th Battalion

Sterling Street, Ipswich

age 36


The Battle of Ypres 1917

The Suffolk Regiment the 8th Battalion the battle of Pilckem Ridge

31st July 1917 Regimental records show:

The attacking front of nearly 8 miles from the Menin road to the Zillebeke-Zandvoorde road.

A scene of the most desperate fighting in the opening battle, although the depth of the British advance was greatest in the direction of Langemarck.

The 8th Battalion reached its assembly position about 02:00 hrs on the 31st July and by zero hour (03:50 hrs) had established its headquarters at Wellington Crescent.

As “C” Company was passing through Zillebecke a shell burst amongst them, killing and wounding several of the men.

The 8th Suffolk’s and the 6th Royal Berkshire, ready and expected, waited for the front-line reports that would tell them the way was clear for them to advance. Due to a tragic mistake the 30th Divisional infantry wheeled to their left and assaulted the Chateau Wood instead of Glencorse Wood causing a fatal gap in the line and reported that the Glencorse Wood had been taken when part of the Wood was still in German hands.

Early in the Morning Lieut. Bolingbroke went forward with the battalion scouts to clear Sanctuary Wood and place signposts to guide the companies. They came under fire from the corner of the Wood, Cpl. Fletcher being twice wounded. This was the work of a daring sniper, who did much damage before he was killed. Soon after 06:00hrs Lieut. Bolingbroke sent back a message to say that the 30th Division were on the North side of the Menin road and in the Chateau Wood.

As the troops advanced a barrage was encountered in the splintered remains of Sanctuary Wood, on the far edge of which they came under a destructive machinegun and rifle fire. A platoon of “B” company under Lieut. Chibnall, was the first to get up to Lieut. Bolingbroke. These two Officers decided to attack the Second line (Surbiton Villa) with such troops as they could collect, and without waiting for support. The line was taken, Lieut. Chibnall and Sgt .J. Mason MM. being killed and Lieut. Bolingbroke wounded at the head of the platoon. In the course of the severe fighting in the vicinity of Surbiton Villa, Pte F.J.Read with a small party of “A” Company (Major H.A.Angier.MC) rushed a German machine-gun, killing the whole team.

The Battalion got on the Menin road near Clapham Junction and advanced several hundred yards beyond it, where they were checked and forced to take up a line of shell holes. The attack practically finished here, as by this time the enemy were in great strength round Glencorse Wood.

While Major Fache was crawling up the Menin road with a runner, a cock pheasant alighted about fifty yards ahead of them, though shells were dropping everywhere. The runner shot the bird, carrying it out of action on the end of his rifle with great pride. It was possibly not the first time he had killed game without a licence.

By this time all our tanks had been put out of action. The battalion, having advanced altogether nearly a mile and made a hard but unavailing fight to get still further, now dug themselves in. Thus ended, as far as the 8th Battalion was concerned, the battle of Pilckem Ridge, in which they sustained 177 casualties.

Ipswich men remembered:

William Albert Lambert

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 25


Alfred William Blomfield

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 30


James Stanley Quinton

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion, ‘C’ Coy

age 24


Isaac Frederick Rose

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 25


Alfred Henry Sparrow

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 19


George Edgar Vincent

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 33


Brighton Ward

Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion

age 41

By midday they were already moving beyond the former line, with the objective of the higher ground of Pilckem Ridge, when German counter-attack divisions mounted the ridge and bore down on them. The British were by now low on artillery ammunition, and pandemonium reigned, with some battalions holding their ground while others were pushed back, for two hours before the heavens opened and brought the fighting to a close. By that time the Allies had gained just 2,000 yards at the cost of 3,000 casualties.

Other Ipswich men lost on this day:


Charles Ernest Baker

London Regiment, 12th Battalion

age 31

Stanley Alfred Bales

Canadian Railway Troops, 9th Battalion

age 24 (Poperinghe)

Bertram Arthur Bennett

Welsh Guards, 1st Battalion

age 19

Herbert Edward Harrison Fenn

Northampton Regiment, 7th Battalion

age: 29

Reginald Frederick MacKintosh

Royal West Surrey Regiment

age 20

Alfred Henry James Neave

Royal Fusiliers, London Regiment, 1st Battalion

age 30

William Goodrich Steele

Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) 10th Battalion

Age 22

Percy Wollaston

The Kings (Liverpool Regiment), 20th Battalion

age 32


Brave Ipswich men who died on this day:17th February 1917

Frank Stanley Brame
Suffolk Regiment, ‘B’ Coy, 8th Battalion
Suffolk Road, Ipswich (form. South Green, Hoxne, Suffolk)
Robert James Cobbold
Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion
Metz Street, Ipswich
Albert Edward Everett
Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion
Commercial Road, Ipswich.
Alfred Henry Trench
Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion
Dorkin Street, Ipswich

17th February the 8th Battalion: extracts from Suffolk Regiment records:
“On the 17th the advance towards Miraumont began,8th battalion 05:45 am under very trying weather conditions, severe frost which lasted for a month suddenly breaking on the eve of the battle and rapid thaw converting the ground into a morass of the worst description. very few duckboard tracks existed there at the time, and the nearest hut being over two miles from the front line, the carrying parties had a most difficult task. The process of forming up for attack had to be carried out at night in a thick mist and under a hostile barrage as well-zero hour having become known to the enemy. The battalion gained its objectives quickly in spite of stubborn fighting in the front of the uncut wire, and the leading waves succeeded in establishing themselves within a few hundred yards of Petit Miraumont. The work of consolidation was rendered less difficult by the mist, which prevented enemy observation and permitted freer movement across the open than normally possible.

In the action, which reflected the greatest credit on all ranks of the 8th Battalion, one incident stands out conspicuously. Seeing his company held up by the wire, L/Cpl. W. Savage with seven men having discovered a small gap therein, rushed fearlessly through into the enemy’s trench, killing with his own hands the first four Germans he met and effecting the surrender of the rest of the party, which consisted of fourteen men with a machine gun L/Cpl. Savage received the DCM.

The casualties in the Battalion amounted to 130 men. This victory marked the beginning of the retreat to the Hindenburg line.”

Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927 by Lt-Col. C.C.R.Murphy

William Savage DCM a former Ipswich golf club caddy died of his wounds in 1918 age 24.

8th (Service) Battalion
09.09.1914 Formed at Bury St. Edmunds as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Shorncliffe to join the 53rd Brigade of the 18th Division.
Oct 1914 Moved to Colchester.
May 1915 Moved to Codford, Salisbury Plain.
25.07.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
During 1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
During 1917
Operations on the Ancre, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.

Suffolk reg


12th October 1916.
15 Ipswich men lost their lives during

the Battle of Transloy

Walter Douglas Ager
Frederick Thomas Aldred
Arthur Frank Bultitude
Charles Henry Creasy
Herbert John Emsden
George William Howard
Robert Gerald Kidd
William Marshall
John James Osborn
James Parker
Ernest Pinner
Ernest Henry Pooley
Jack Harold Potter
Harold George Winslow Todd
Edward George Acomb Wilson


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 over-night , 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 2pm coming immediately under a very heavy cross fire 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 officer, and men. Luet. Eagle is reported to have died fighting in the German first line, into which he had forced an entrance alone. 2 nd 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 facts 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”

16th September 1916

The Battle of Flers- Courcelette September 1916

 Following an attack on the 13th the 9th Battalion Suffolk Regiment under heavy machine gun fire in the “Quadrilateral” sector took on a German outpost gaining 400 yards of open ground, with no further forward movement dug in. on the 15th the offensive resumed after 3 days of heavy bombardment. During the battle tanks were used.

The 9th Battalion moved forward on the 16th in support of the 9th Norfolk Regiment zero hour at 06:20 advancing an hour and a half later under heavy machine gun fire making it difficult to make any headway. At 08:30 a.m. Lieut.-Colonel Mack the commanding officer moved his headquarters to the front-line trench, while observing the attack was hit by machine gun fire and killed passing the command to his Adjutant. C.Allerton. The attack then stalled and the men dug in under now heavy German artillery. 12 officers were killed or wounded 35 ranks killed and 93 wounded. Over all the division for this battle took upwards of 3500 casualties.

Ipswich men lost on the 16th of September from the Suffolk Regiment 9th Battalion:

Charles George Batley

age 21
Charles Eric Bond
age 26
Reginald Dawson
age 23

Maurice William Emsden
age 27
John Percy
age 32

Cecil Frederick Taylor
age 38
Thomas Herbert Webb
age 37

18th August 1916

Ipswich men who died on this day from the Suffolk Regiment.
Out of these 19 men it is hard to calculate the numbers who died of their wounds in the following days, months, years from this one action.

Suffolk reg

The Somme offensive took over 100 Ipswich men’s lives.
On this day the 4th Suffolk’s advanced on

“High Wood”

Gladwell-001   Albert Stanley Smith   GERALD ARTHUR WAGSTAFF 1  ROUTH

4th Btn. On the 18th, not long before zero hour, captain H.F. Ling was wounded, and still later, Lieut. R.D. Hume, M.C., entailing important changes in command at the last moment. Captain Ling remained in the trenches until the attack was over. Neither of the battalions on the right and left was able to make much progress. The 4th Battalion, in the centre, pushed forward. For a time two of our companies occupied Wood Lane trench, but being unsupported, and 2nd Lieut. Bedwell (the only officer to reach the trench) having been killed, it was impossible to hold on. However, considering that the battalion has attacked after four days in the front line, it was justly pleased with its work. A rough night followed, during which the battalion was relieved. Early next morning they moved to Fricourt Wood, and at sundown proceeded to a camp north-east of Meaulte, near Albert Road. The casualties on August 18th were as follows – Killed: 2nd Lieuts. V.L.S. Bedwell, H.C. Pawsey, and E. Norton, and 33 other ranks. Wounded: Captain H.F.Ling; 2nd Lieut. N.E. Suttle, and 108 other ranks. Missing: 50 other ranks. Total, 196. The 2nd battalion were seeing action at Cochrane Alley.

The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914 – 1927 by Lieut.-Colonel C.C.R. Murphy (late the Suffolk Regiment)

Charles Addison

aged 20. KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

William Clive Attewell

aged 21 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Harold Arthur Bailey

aged 19 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

William James Baker

aged 30 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th

Percy James Berry

aged 27 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion

Vivian Barrell Bradley

aged 19 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

William Chaplin

aged 27 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Albert Edward English

aged 30 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 1st/4th Battalion

Walter Edmund Fiddaman

aged 19 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Albert Daniel Game

aged 23 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Robert Charles Gladwell

aged 20 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

John William Gooding

aged 21 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

William Howard

aged 32 DOFW The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Leslie Cyril Ratliff

aged 18 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Thomas Robinson

aged 24 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion

Arthur Joseph Seager

aged 24 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.

Albert Stanley Smith

aged 20 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

Gerald Arthur Wagstaff

aged 32 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

Percy Potter Wyatt

aged 19 KIA The Somme
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion

The Battle of the Somme.

1st July 1916.

The Battle of the Somme took its toll on Ipswich. All the men are remembered on Christchurch Parks Memorial
17 men lost their lives during the first 6 days of the offensive, however it is hard to calculate the men who died days, weeks, and months later who were wounded during the battle.
The 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment lost many Ipswich men during day 3 of the offensive.
On Friday, July 1, at 7.30am, it will be exactly 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme.
That day was a terrible and tragic day, out of the 1000’s of British and Commonwealth men who went ‘over the top’ to attack the German positions in Picardy, 19,340 were killed and 38,500 were wounded.

On 2 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 7th Battalion was moved up to the British front line trenches. On 3 July, as part of the 35th Brigade, along with the 5th Royal Berkshires, the 7th Suffolks Battalion took part in a two Brigade frontal attached on Ovillers, zero hour was set for 03.15am. The first four waves reached the enemies’ third line of defence where after meeting very stiff resistance, the attack stalled. Due to the darkness the succeeding waves lost touch and were unable to assist. Casualties numbered 470 including all company commenders killed. The remnants of the Battalion remained in the trenches until 8 July.

Percy William S. Tyler
West Yorkshire Regiment
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 28

John Henry Wincomb.
Rifle Brigade
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 19

Harold George Stevenson
Royal Army Medical Corps
Born: Ipswich
Died of Wounds age 25
3rd July

Benjamin Charles Baker
Suffolk Regiment 7th
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 22

Albert William Garrod
Duke of Cambridge’s Own, (Middlesex) Regiment,
Born: Ipswich
Died of Wounds age 27

George Henry Grimwood
Suffolk Regiment
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 25

Arthur Ernest Holmes
Suffolk Regiment 7th
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 28

Percy Frederick Ingram
Royal Field Artillery
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 26

Leonard Parson
Suffolk Regiment 7th
Born: Barham
KiA age 21

Alfred Percy Self
Suffolk Regiment 7th
Born: Aldeburgh
KiA age 25

Arthur Cecil Shears
Suffolk Regiment 7th
Born: Putney
KiA age 24

Charles Frederick Sworder
Suffolk Regiment 7th Battalion
Born: Claygate
KiA age 20

Herbert William Wellard.
Royal Engineers
Born: Plumstead
Died Of Wounds age 20

4th July

Alfred Edward Carpenter
Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion
Born: Ipswich
KiA age 19

John Joseph Dean
Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.
Born: Bermondsey
Died of Wounds
Age unknown

5th July

Percy Hugh Willoughby
Lancashire Fusiliers
Born: Ipswich
Died of Wounds age 32

6th July

Harry Potter
Canadian Infantry
Born: Ipswich.
KiA age 19

The Somme offensive day 15
The battle of the Bazentin Ridge and the attack on High Wood.
The 4th Battalion the Suffolks 15th July 1916 regimental records:

While the 4th Battalion was moving through Becordel to the position between Fricourt and Mametz where they bivouacked during the night of July 14th-15th, the battle of the Bazentin Ridge was raging in all its fury. They were not destined, however, to remain long thus upon the fringe of the hostilities, and at dawn went out under the command of Major H.C.Copeman D.S.O on support the 1st Middlesex Regiment in an attack on Switch trench. After severe fighting, a line immediately in front of the Village of Bazentin-le-Petit was taken up and held for the remainder of the day. The casualties in the battalion, exceeding two hundred.

This is the highest death rate of the war for Ipswich. 17 men.
Ipswich men lost on this day:

Francis James Parker

Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.

Aged 26.

Thomas Richmond Stokes Adams
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 19

Bertie Charles Allard
Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment, 1st Battalion.
age 22

Cyril Edric Barfoot
Suffolk Regiment, 1st/4th Battalion
age 19

Percy Alfred V. Brown
Suffolk Regiment, ‘C’ Coy, 4th Battalion
age 20

Percy Walter Coman
Suffolk Regiment, ‘A’ Coy, 4th Battalion
age 20

Albert Gage
Suffolk Regiment, 11th Battalion
age 22

James French Howard
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 30

Samuel Bert Jennings
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 19

Frank William Lark
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 21

Robert Thomas Lloyd
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 18

Umberto Amadeo Motroni
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age: 18

Stanley William Sharp
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age: 22

Herbert Kersey Turner
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 25

Walter Walker
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion, ‘A’ Coy
age: 22

Edward Hunter Thurtell Woods
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age 21

Herbert William Worby
Royal Engineers, 9th Field
age 30

Harry Horace Howell
Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion
age: 21

August 13th  1915

The sinking of the Royal Edward and the loss of 11 Ipswich men

Royal Edward

Arthur John Avis

Ernest Edward Bloomfield

Edward Ernest Chamberlain

Albert Edmund Nuttall

Ernest William Roberts

Frederick Sharman

Robert Charles Snell


Frederick Arthur Stevens

Albert Victor Stubbs

James Woods

Charles Worledge

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