"He Would Not Wait Until He Was Fetched, And He Deemed It His Duty As A Man To Help His King And Country"
Early in January, the Ely Standard published news that Private Henry William Saberton from Stuntney, had been killed in action.
The news was not really news, for his wife received the notification back in November when he had been killed in action whilst serving with the 7th Battalion at Loos.
The article ran; "As briefly announced in our last issue, Pte Henry William Saberton, 7th Suffolks, of Stuntney, has been killed in action, but beyond the bare official announcement, the widow has received no news of how he came by death which occurred a few weeks ago. Letters written home by Soham and Stuntney men leave no doubt that he was killed by a shell. The reason the deceased man gave for joining the forces was that he would not wait until he was fetched, and he deemed it his duty as a man to help his King and Country. He enlisted on 1st February 1915 and went out to France in August. Besides the widow, he leaves eight children under 13 years of age to mourn their loss."
Henry's story was not an uncommon one. Men trapped in the relentless toil of manual labour, supporting ever-increasing families, saw the Great War and the Army as an adventure to be taken before it was too late. For those desperate to enlist 18 months before, thinking it might be finished by New Year, it was now tuning into a long, drawn-out affair. Would 1916 bring them victory?
With thanks to the Stuntney Village Website
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.