Friday, 12 August 2016

The Battle of the Somme and the Well Hall Estate: Another Son of the Estate Killed in France

Original post:

George Thomas Jeffery was another soldier with local connections who died during the Battle of Somme.  He had enlisted at the age of 20 in November 1914 giving his father as Thomas and his mother as Alice.

The Jeffery family were living in 12, Admiral Seymour Road by June 1917 when Thomas wrote to the army regarding his son’s personal effects including a silver wrist watch and a gold ring.

Alice Emily his mother as well as George and two of his siblings were all helping with their father’s business as a seaman victuler in 1911 when they were living in Rochester.  There were four sons in all, all of them younger than George.   When George enlisted, joining the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, the family were living in Rochester, but the move to Well Hall would have happened within the following year or so.  How sad that within about eighteen months of that new beginning for the family, the eldest son was dead.  George died of wounds on 18th August 1916 and is commemorated on the memorial at Thiepval.

George’s brother Frederick William was also injured in the Battle of Somme, but survived and by the end of the war was no longer in the army although another brother, Arthur, was.  Arthur was living on the estate with his father in the 1920s. The eldest child, Grace, married in 1919 and had a son who was named George, perhaps after her brother.  Alice died in 1925.  I wonder if the wrist watch and the ring were ever found and returned, precious mementos of Alice’s son.

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