At the end of the Great War, the Rector of Tattingstone, the Reverend Charles Lister Boileau Elliott hand wrote a book dedicated to the memories of the men from the village who had served in the war. In his own words “it is as full a record as possible of the Fourteen men who laid down their lives in the Great War. It was compiled that their memory may not be forgotten in the time to come. It contains also a complete list of those who served in the War. The list was also framed and hung in the church.”
He called his book the Tattingstone Liber Vitae, translated from Latin it means the Book of Life, and it is now safe and sound in the Suffolk Records Office. For my own use I photographed each page and to correspond with the piece published in the Tattingstone News commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of each of the “fallen”, I copy the relevant section and add it to this page.
I am sure that the Reverend Elliott would be very pleased to know that their memory has indeed not been forgotten and that his book has been a great source of information all these years later.
Sergeant Amos Leeks
Sergeant Amos Leeks was one of the few from this parish with military experience before the war began and he was the first to lay down his life in his country’s cause.
He enlisted in 1898, and spent some time with his regiment in the Channel Islands and elsewhere; though he was not called upon for active service in the South African war. Being still in the reserve he was recalled to the colours on the declaration of war with Germany, and after a period of training at Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds he went to France with the Suffolk Regiment; there he was killed by a sniper on January 14 1915.
He was born in Aldham near Hadleigh on September 16 1880. His parents being Henry and Mary Ann Leeks.
For 16 years before the war he made his home in this parish and was employed at Pond Hall Farm.
William John Harrison
Private William John Harrison’s home was at Strumpshaw in Norfolk but he was a footman at Tattingstone Place when the War began and enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment on 3 September 1914.
On 23 April 1915, while on sentry duty in France, he was wounded in the head by a sniper’s bullet and died in hospital at Bailleul nine miles north west of Armentieres.
He was the son of Albert William and Mina Harrison, and was born on 23 January 1895. His father never recovered from the shock caused by the news of his death and died within five months of his son.
William Harrison was one of a family of three sons and six daughters. The second son saw active service in Gallipoli in December 1915. He was invalided home and subsequently went to France where he received a serious wound in the big advance on Easter Monday 9 April 1917.
Private Robert Amoss as a boy had a strong inclination towards the life of a solider but was prevented by joining the army at his parents’ wishes. At the call of his country however, he enlisted in the Suffolk Regiment on December 5 1914 at the age of 37.
On July 6th the following year he went to France with his Battalion, and after only a few weeks at the Front, he died of sickness in the hospital at Etaples near Havre on September 20 1915.
He was the son of Elias and Liza Amoss and was born on December 15 1877 at Stutton, to which parish his mother also belonged. His father came from Playford.
When War was declared Robert Amoss had been living at The Wonder for some 10 years and working at Pond Hall Farm.
He left a widow Hannah Adelaide whose maiden name was Scott and two boys George and Alfred.
Private William Chisnall was born on April 19th 1888, being the youngest son of Alfred and Sarah Ann Chisnall (the daughter of Edward Sage), both parents belonging to Tattingstone familes.
He was educated at the National School in this parish and later went to London where he was employed by Messrs. Sage, the firm of shop-fitters founded by his great uncle in the Grays Inn Road.
On the declaration of war he enlisted September 1st 1914 in the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment and saw active service in France. He was killed in action on October 13th 1915.
Little information could be obtained of his death. His Company Commander wrote:
“On making enquiries amongst the men, very few of whom, who took part in that attack, returned, all I can discover is that he was hit somewhere in the face when he had advanced about 20 yards from our trenches. The Sergeant from whom I got my information saw him hit … I gather from the Sergeant that Chisnall must have died very soon after being hit. He died a gallant death.”
Ivy Osbourne Bullard
Private Ivy Osbourne Bullard had served in the defence of his country for many years before the war with Germany. He enlisted from Tattingstone in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1893 and continued in that arm of the service until his death.
His 23 years with the Royal Navy were passed on board the Rodney, Fox. Grafton, Victory, Ramilles, Hibernia, Hawke, Edinburgh, Implacable, Cressy, Hindustan, Russell, Hibernia (2nd time), and Russell (2nd time).
Private Bullard was on the last named ship when war was declared on August 4th 1914. The Russell was a battleship of the Duncan class with a displacement of 14,000 tonnes and a complement of some 800 men, her Commander being Captain William Bowden Smith RN.
On April 27th 1916 she was on duty in the Mediterranean when she struck a mine and was lost. About 124 officers and men perished of whom Private Ivy Bullard was one.
Ivy Bullard was the son of George and Sarah Bullard (his first wife). He was born on June 6th 1874 and received his education at the Tattingstone National School.
At his death he left a widow, Mary Jane Bullard and a family of three sons and two daughters namely Ernest William, Gertrude, Charles Edward, Elsie May and Sidney.
Maurice George Moss
Private Maurice George Moss was a native of Ashfield-cum-Thorpe in this county, and was there educated at the National School. He was born on December 10th 1897.
Some months after the War began he came to lodge in this Tattingstone and enlisted from this parish in June 1915.
He served with the Suffolk Regiment in France, and was killed on July 20th 1916 in his 19th year.
Corporal Robert Dale was the son of Ephraim and Eliza Dale and was born at Tattingstone on June 3rd 1886. He married Nellie Baldwin, and at his death left two children Florrie and Bertha.
He joined the Royal Field Artillery on September 2nd 1914, and was sent to France. Having served for a time on the Western Front he was drafted to Salonika.
On February 20th 1917 he sailed for England on leave. Early the following morning the ship struck a mine and all, but eleven survivors, were lost.
In a letter to his widow, Captain I. M. Fiennes spoke very highly of him and his brother, Arthur, who lost his life at the same time. He said:-
“ I cannot say too much for them … I knew that they would do whatever was required to the best of their ability and do it well. … They lived with a great sense of duty, and for their duty they have died.”
The ship on which the brothers went down was a small boat named the Princess Alberta.
Sergeant Arthur Dale was a younger brother of Robert, born on May 21st 1889. Both brothers were at Tattingstone National School in their boyhood.
Arthur enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery on the same date as Robert, September 2nd 1914; and from that time onwards the two were always together, first in France and then in Salonika; and they shared the same fate on February 21st 1917.
Their brotherly affection for each other was shown by the fact that they elected to wait for their leave till they could come home together, even though this necessitated delay in a long deferred visit to England.
Their father was the son of Abraham Dale, and their mother the daughter of Henry Day. Their parents were married at Tattingstone in 1868 and had four sons and four grandsons serving in the war
A. Dale was mentioned in Despatches from Lt-Gen G.F. Milne, dated 29th March 1917.
To be continued ….
Tattingstone Liber Vitae
Book of Life
Suffolk Record Office reference FB194/A2/1