Monday, October 19, 2015

Gunner J Izzard, Royal Horse Artillery

Gunner J Izzard, RHA is first referred to in Chailey Parish Magazine’s June 1917 issue.  This is the only information that the magazine yields about this man although it is repeated in every subsequent issue up to and including July 1919. 

The magazine could have mis-spelt this man’s surname and he may have been an Isard rather than Izzard. 

Chailey resident Reg Philpott remembers a Joe and Mary Izzard (or Isard) who used to work for Faulkner, the tailor on Chailey Green but I could find no Joe or Joseph Izzard listed on census returns and was also unsuccessful in finding a medal index card with an Izzard (or Isard) Royal Horse Artillery match. 

The 1901 census does note a five year old Joseph Henry Isard (born 18th August 1895), living at Newick Green, however.  The household comprised: Stephen Isard (head, married, aged 38, working as a fellmonger), his wife Ellen Matilda Isard (nee Selsby, aged 43) and their five children: Amy Victoria Isard (aged 13), Marion Elizabeth Isard (aged 12), Addelaide [Sic] Isard (aged ten), Percy John Isard (aged seven) and finally, Joseph.  Ellen had been born in Keymer; her husband and their five children were all born in Newick. 

The National Archives reveals a medal index card for a G/3000 Private Joseph H Isard of The Royal Sussex Regiment but the absence of any reference to an artillery formation makes me sceptical that this is the same man referred to in the parish magazine. 

There was however, one certain loss that this branch of the Isard family felt.  Twenty-three year old SD/2940 Private Percy John Isard of the 13th The Royal Sussex Regiment was killed in action on the Rue De Bois on 30th June 1916.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that he was the son of Mr & Mrs Isard of ‘The Firs’ Newick. Soldiers Died in The Great War confirms that he was born in Newick and enlisted in Lewes. He is buried at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery; grave reference: F 924.  He is also commemorated on a bronze plaque in St Mary's Church, Newick and in a memorial book held there.

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