Sunday, April 22, 2007

Three men killed in a week

April 1917 saw the British Army launching its assault at Arras. As far as Chailey was concerned, it would mourn three more of its sons.

Alfred Bird of the 3rd Dragoons was killed on the 11th April and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. The following day, Albert Selby of the Royal Engineers died of multiple shell wounds. He was a regular soldier who had enlisted in 1910 at the age of 15. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.

On 17th April, Frederick Smith of the 4th Suffolk Regiment was killed in action at Arras. He too is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. Three of his brothers were also killed in action during WW1.

Finally, a year later, on 12th April 1918, Frederick Stevenson of The Labour Corps, died at home in Chailey. He is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, north Chailey. Truly a black week for this small Sussex community.

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