THEOBALD, Ernest George

No.23613, Private, Ernest George THEOBALD
Aged 22

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on or since Friday, 22nd March 1918

Ernest George THEOBALD was born in Bulmer, Essex in 1896 (Sudbury Q1-1896 4A:740), son of Josiah Henry and Elizabeth THEOBALD (née FINCH).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Armsley Cottages, Bulmer with his father Harry THEOBALD[33] shepherd, born Borley; his mother Elizabeth [31] born Belchamp Walter; brother William [13] farm worker, born Borley; sisters Sarah [11] and Annie [9] both born in Borley; brothers Fred [7], Frank [4] and Charlie [1] all born in Bulmer and sister Edith [6] also born in Bulmer

1911 census...Aged 15 a house ? boy, he was at Sheep Lodge, Sandy Lane, Bulmer with his parents (father now Josiah Henry); brtoehrs Frederick (house garden boy); Frank (farm worker), Charles, Arthur [10]; sisters Marjorie [8], Gertrude [7], Evelyn [4] and Ivy [1]. All the children are now recorded as born in Bulmer.13 of the 14 siblings survive.

His parents address for CWGC was 42 Stow End, Stow cum Quy, but it is not known yet when they moved to Quy.

He enlisted in Colchester.
It was the second day of the German Spring Offensive, the Kaiserschlacht and practically all along the Somme front the Allies were in retreat. The actual war diary has not been found but Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment says that the 11th Suffolks were struggling from dawn to defend Henin Hill. All day they battled and held off the Germans but at 7 pm one company began to give way. During the retreat "C" company HQ came across 8 Germans with 5 prisoners. They killed the Germans and brought back the released prisoners. An hour later HQ and 2 platoons moved to the 3rd system in front of BOYELLES,one party remaining near the CRUCIFIX covering the withdrawal to HENIN of 9th Brigade. The remainder of the battalion rejoined battalion HQ at Hamelincourt by the morning of the 23rd.

CWGC have recorded 50 of the 11th Suffolk killed, none have an identified grave.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ernest Theobald is commemorated on the Arras memorial, Bay 4

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details