Herbert Leonard Jesshope was born in Strood, Kent on 22 February 1897 to parents William Jesshope and Louisa Ann Stockbridge. He has six siblings. In 1901, the family were living at 9 Grange Road, Frindsbury, Kent, is father was working as a labourer. By 1911, the family had moved to 16 Cliffe Road, Strood, Kent, Herbert was a butcher’s errand boy.
During the First World War, Herbert enlisted in Chatham, Kent. He served in the 7th Battalion of the Buffs (East Kent) Regiment as a private. Regimental no. 204076. This battalion was formed at Canterbury in September 1914 as part of K2. In September 1914, they were under command of 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division.
The 18th (Eastern) Division was established by the Eastern Command in September 1914, as part of the Army Orders authorising Kitchener’s Second New Army, K2. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. The units of the Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved in May 1915 to Salisbury Plain. King George V inspected the Division on 24 June. The embarkation for France began on 24 July and units moved to assemble near Flesselles, completing concentration there five days later. The Division served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions:
The Battle of Albert – Somme 1916 in which the Division captured its objectives near Montauban
The Battle of Bazentin Ridge – Somme 1916 in which the Division captured Trones Wood
The Battle of Delville Wood – Somme 1916
The Battle of Thiepval Ridge – Somme 1916
The Battle of the Ancre Heights – Somme 1916 in which the Division played a part in the capture of the Schwaben Redoubt and in the capture of Regina Trench
The Battle of the Ancre – Somme 1916
Operations on the Ancre (notably Miraumont and the capture of Irles)
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line
The Third Battle of the Scarpe, a phase of the Arras offensive
The Battle of Pilkem Ridge – Third Battles of Ypres
The Battle of Langemarck – Third Battles of Ypres
First Battle of Passchendaele – Third Battles of Ypres
The Second Battle of Passchendaele – Third Battles of Ypres
In September 1917, in Strood Kent, it is unsure if Herbert was on leave or why he was home from the war but he married Gertrude Hammond. Sadly shortly after, during one of the battles of Ypres that Herbert was killed in action on 12 October 1917. He was killed near the brewery at Passchendaele, Ypres. A memorial for Herbert can be found at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium on Panel 17.
After his death, on 3 August 1920, Herbert was awarded the Victory and British Medals ‘Mutt and Jeff’ for his services.
References and links:
British Army WWI Medal Roll Index Card 1914-1920
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
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