Private 75391 Joseph William Jeavons

Jeavons Joseph 96 758x300

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 27th March 1918, age 19.
Commemorated on Panel 68 to 72 of Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

1st/8th Bn., Durham Light Infantry. 151st Brigade of 50th Division.

Son of Mr Joseph Henry Jeavons and Mrs Hannah Elizabeth Jeavons, of 6 Tibbington Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. John's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1583364/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph William Jeavons registered March quarter 1899 in Dudley.

1901 Census
13 Meadow Lane, Sedgley, Staffs.
Joseph Jeavons (26, L & NW Railway Carter, born Sedgley), his wife Sarah (26, born Barrow-in-Furness), and their 2 children: Joseph William (2, born Sedgley), Alfred (4 months, born Sedgley).

Sarah Jeavons died in 1902, and Joseph married Hannah Elizabeth Fisher in 1904.

1911 Census
6 Tibbington Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Henry Jeavons (37, Carter for LNW Railway, born Deepfields), his wife Hannah Elizabeth (30, born Prices End), and their 3 children: William Joseph (12, born Deepfields), William Alfred (4, born Princes End), and Bearice Violet (2, born Princes End).

Personal Data

Joseph enlisted on 30th April 1917 at Wolverhampton and became number 17869 in the 5th Battalion, Training Reserve. He was 18 years and 90 days old, 5 feet 4½ inches tall with a 31-inch chest, and weighed a mere 92lbs (6st 8lbs). He was employed as a Striker Rivetter (Tube) in a colliery. His Next of Kin was his father, Mr Joseph Henry Jeavons, of 6 Tibbington Road, Tipton.

During training at Rugeley Camp and South Shields, he had a few disciplinary problems: absent from tattoo, not complying with an order, overstaying his special pass, and having an untidy billet. In total he was Confined to Barracks for 34 days.

On 13th February 1918 he landed in France and transferred to 19th Bn., Durham Light Infantry (DLI), and then on the 15th February to the 1/8th Bn., DLI. It was whilst serving with the 1/8th Bn., DLI that he was killed on 27th March 1918, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme.

An army form dated 1919 shows his parents as William Henry and Hannah Elizabeth Jeavons of 6 Tibbington Road, Tipton, with siblings: Alfred (13), Violet (11), Marion (9), Clara (6), Mabel (1).

Joseph is commemorated on St. John's Memorial as just J. Jeavons.

After Joseph's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/18/5d (3 pounds, 18 shillings and 5 pence), this was paid to his father, Joseph H., in August 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted within in the 12 months prior to his death.

Action resulting in his death

On 21st March 1918 the Germans launched their massive spring offensives called Kaiserschlacht ('Kaiser's Battle') or 'Operation Michael', the initial thrust of which fell mainly on the British Fifth Army holding positions in the Somme area. The 151st Brigade was about 10 km to the south-east of Albert.

From 22nd March to 26th March, the 151st Brigade conducted a fighting retreat, holding positions for some time before withdrawing to new positions, occasionally making counter-attacks. On 26th March positions were held east of the road from Estrées to Assevillers but with much reduced strength and few serviceable Lewis guns.

The fighting retreat continued during which time, on 29 March, the remnants of the 50th Division, by then its strength reduced to little more than a weak composite brigade, were put under the command of the 20th (Light) Division.

It was during this fighting retreat, on 27th March, that Joseph Jeavons was killed in action. His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.

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