Private J.W. Jeffs 1st Border Regiment

Re: Private J.W. Jeffs 1st Border Regiment

Postby martyn6747 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:55 pm

Thank you again - I have seen this 6 April piece before but for some reason had not recorded all the detail - if I can I would like to find out some time which Company Private 7340 JW Jeffs served with in the 1st Battalion, and which trench he died in - because it has been written ( Paul reed) Tipperary Avenue and also First Avenue.
I would like to know when he actually returned in 1916 following his wounding with the 2nd Battalion at NEUVE CHAPELLE in March 1915- but these are mere tiny details - because thanks to your generous help I know all his service with D Company 1914/15

My very best regards
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Re: Private J.W. Jeffs 1st Border Regiment

Postby plbramham » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:23 pm

martyn6747 wrote:if I can I would like to find out some time which Company Private 7340 JW Jeffs served with in the 1st Battalion, and which trench he died in - because it has been written ( Paul reed) Tipperary Avenue and also First Avenue.
I would like to know when he actually returned in 1916


It looks unlikely that you will be able to ascertain the exact date and place where he joined the 1st Battalion because it appears that his service records did not survive the Second World War bombing (in which about 60% of WW1 soldier’s documents were destroyed). I had hoped that there may be some hint in the war diaries when new drafts arrived which may have included him (you mentioned he joined a few days before his death on 6th April), but there is no such mention between 2-6th April and the diary for March 1916 appears to either have been lost, or not to have existed. However, I suspect the reason for this was that in March the battalion arrived in France, via Egypt, having previously been at Gallipoli. Therefore, I reckon your ancestor must have joined the 1st Battalion at the time they arrived for duty in France.
Regarding which trench he died in, well, unless there is a recorded eyewitness to his death, I think the closest you will ever come is an educated guess taking into consideration the sector where his unit was operating. You mentioned that Paul Reed had suggested Tipperary Avenue and also First Avenue. The location in the war diary for 5th April states “opening up of 'C' 'D' + 'E' streets, ESSEX Street and ROONEYS Sap commenced” and the diary for 6th April states: “Reopening of BROADWAY communications trench between POMPADOUR and ESSEX Street completed”. I guess he could have been in any of these trenches?
Although his service documents do not survive his Medal Index Card does (see below). This is one of the “first type” variety. It shows he entered theatre of war on 5th October 1914 – hence all the diaries for the 2nd Bn from October to March 1915 relate to his service and experiences. His medal entitlement is given as being for the 1914 Star, the British War Medal, and The Victory medal. He is also entitled to a “clasp” for the Star, which was awarded to those who had actually been under fire between August and November 1914. It took the form of a dated bar sewn onto the ribbon of the medal, or a silver rosette when the medal ribbon bar alone was worn. His family would also have received the bronze memorial plaque (also known as the death plaque or “Dead Man’s Penny”) and memorial scroll which was sent to the next of kin of all those who died.
On the 1911 census he is listed as a 26 year old gas stoker living at 21 Wellington Road, Stoke Newington, with his wife of one year, May Louise. (No children – so not a shotgun wedding!)
On 1891 census he is a six-year old living with his labourer father Henry A. Jeffs and mother Elizabeth L. Jeffs , 4 sisters, a brother and a lodger at 19 Shacklewell Road. West Hackney.
Regards Paul
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Re: Private J.W. Jeffs 1st Border Regiment

Postby martyn6747 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:05 pm

Thank you Paul, extremely interesting, I think it is fair to say that mainly due to your help I now have the complete story of Great Granddad Jeffs. I can tell you that at the time of his death he sadly had two small children, and not too long after the war his wife re-married and became a Farnsworth. We heard rumours of a photo but one was never found, every time the Border Regiment is mentioned in a book or magazine I look at the images very carefully, and probably always will.
Anyway once again thank you very much your efforts and for your time, all of which has been very much appreciated.
Martyn
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The Border Regiment Forum is a small and friendly community for anyone with an interest in the British regiment throughout its long and colourful history. The forum was set up first and foremost to bring together those with an interest and passion in the Regiment; to ask questions, share stories, provide knowledge and post photos relating to the regiment during the various conflicts and peacetimes it bore witness to.

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