William is remembered on the war memorial at Bethesda Baptist Church, St. Margaret’s Plain, Ipswich.


Born: 1890, Capel St. Mary, Suffolk.

Died: 11th May 1917; age: 27; KiA.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 40722.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

Formerly 3884, Suffolk Regiment.


Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.


Grave Reference:


Feuchy Chapel British Cemetery,


Pas de Calais,





1891   Upper Street, Capel St. Mary, Suffolk.


William was a year old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Pettingale, 38, an Agricultural Labourer, born Wenham Magna, Suffolk.

Alice Helena Pettingale (nee Finch), 33, born Capel St. Mary.

Edward William Pettingale, 13, an Agricultural Labourer, born Capel St. Mary.

Frederick Ernest Pettingale, 11, an Agricultural Labourer, born Capel St. Mary.

Charles Bertrand Pettingale, 8, born Capel St. Mary.

Elizabeth Alice Pettingale, 5, born Capel St. Mary.

Florence Julia Pettingale, 2, born born Capel St. Mary.


1901   The Street, Capel St. Mary, Suffolk.


William was 11 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John, 48, an Agricultural Labourer.

Alice, 43.

Edward, 23, an Agricultural Labourer.

Charles, 19, an Agricultural Labourer.

Florence, 13, a General Domestic Servant.

Annie May Pettingale, 8, born Capel St. Mary.

Daisy Pettingale, 6, born Capel St. Mary.

Alfred Cecil Pettingale, 3, born Capel St. Mary.

Dorothy Grace Pettingale, 4 months, born Capel St. Mary.


1911   Bredfield, Suffolk.


William was 21 years old, a Grocer’s Assistant. He was living at the home of his employer, 37 year old, Herbert Frank Griffin, a Grocer & Provision Dealer.


Soldiers’ Effects to Alice H. Pettingale – mother.


William is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Mary’s Church, Capel St. Mary, Suffolk; and on their village war memorial, dedicated in 2018.


Click on the red writing to learn more.

Ipswich has a long history with Arras from both world wars. Ipswich borough council hold a partnership agreement (Twinning) and annually  commemorate the 67 Ipswich men who lost their lives during the battle as well as the 79 men who lost their lives who are remembered on the Arras memorial from 1917-1918.

The prelude to The battle of Arras started in late 1916, lessons learnt from the Battle of the Somme were now in place. The French army were now at breaking point and needed a British and commonwealth offensive to draw the enemy away for their own attack in the south later that month.

The Somme offensive had used over 200 heavy guns, the Arras offensive was to use over 900 with a week long bombardment. The Air war had changed too, with over 200 aircraft bombing , mapping ,recording key positions and holding back the enemy aircraft from seeing the build up of troops. Tanks were used with limited success either running out of fuel or getting bogged down in the muddy conditions. Deep under the ground tunnels had been made to protect and conceal tens of thousands of troops.

The first days were a great success taking miles of land ,masked by sleet, snow and gale force winds. The 11 mile offensive finally stalled at the Hindenburg line which the Germans had been preparing for over 6 months.

The Battle of Arras consisted of 6 battles each action took many Ipswich lives.

2nd Battalion taking part in the First Battle of the Scarpe (9–14 April 1917) the unsuccessful attack on Guemappe-The second Battle of Scarpe and the Battle of Arleux (28–29 April 1917), Infantry Hill.

2nd Battalion the Suffolk’s Easter service deep underground (Wellington cave)


9th April

“2nd Battalion the Suffolk’s emerged from caves onto its assembly trenches in support of the 4th Royal Fusiliers, objective known as the “Harp”

The 2nd Battalions casualties were “comparatively light, scarcely exceeding one hundred” all objectives taken with no counter attack.”

Following a number of Battles the 2nd Battalion moved to reserve on the 23rd April, taking over the trenches at “Harp” moving up to “Shrapnel” and “Pick” trench during the Battle of Arleux. The 4th May the Battalion moved to the Monchy defences, leaving the sector on the 14th.

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment


One Comment

  • William Arthur Pettingale is my Great GrandUncle.
    Do you have any photos of him or know where I could look?
    Thank you for the information you have preserved regarding his service and the War Memorial he is remembered on at Bethesda. It is very much welcomed by the family.

    His brother Edward William Pettingale died aged 36 in 1914. Do you have any records of him having served?


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