A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Selected Biography

Rous, Thomas – Born: Charing, Kent in 1886.  Parents: Thomas Rous (Headmaster) and Selina [née Wainwright] (School Teacher).  Home: School House, Harwich Road, Ardleigh, Essex (1891 and 1901), Clyde Villa, Church Walk, Long Melford (1911), School House, Reading Street, Tenterden, Kent [1915].  Occupation: Assistant Schoolmaster at Long Melford School (1911).  Married: Ivy Goodall in 1914.  Service Record: Thomas enlisted in 1914 as Private, later L/Cpl.1021 with 1/1st Essex Yeomanry, posted to France from 5.6.1915 as part of 8th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division and seeing action at the Battle of Loos on 25.9.1915.  He was granted a commission on 11.9.1917 as Second Lieutenant No. 80163 of ‘D’ Battery, CCXCVI Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, part of 59th (2nd North Midland) Division.  During the early hours of 21.3.1918 the Brigade came under a concerted attack from German artillery.  The Divisional Diary records that by 1:45 pm two of ‘D’ Battery’s 4.5-inch howitzers were out of action, with the remaining guns being disabled by their crews as the position was about to be over-run by advancing enemy infantry.  It was about this time that Rous and another officer Captain Montague were being taken with the rest of the wounded to the relative safety of the rear.  Lieutenant Rous had received serious gunshot wounds a short time earlier.  His entry in de Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour includes a letter written by Rous’s commanding officer:  He was such a cheery brother officer, both on duty and in the mess.  His pluck and endurance were wonderful, so much so that I have twice submitted his name to the Brigade Commander for some distinction or award for bravery.  The first time for his bravery and devotion to duty, when he crawled up to and into German barbed-wire entanglements to observe a destructive shot we had to fire on a new trench: through his gallant action we were able to destroy the enemy trench.  Second time, to Colonel’s notice for his coolness and splendid example under heavy bombardment of 21 March, when he went from gun-pit to gun-pit helping his men and cheering them on: it was thus he received his wounds.[1]  Died: Thomas Rous died of wounds at St John’s Hospital, Étaples the following day, and is buried in Étaples Military Cemetery [grave ref: XXVIII.E.6], Pas-de-Calais, France.  His Commonwealth War Grave entry confirms that he was Mentioned in Despatches.[2]

Notes – [1] For details about the movements of Rous’s unit see the War Diary of the Commander of Royal Artillery for 59th Division [WO 95/3013/1-2].  For notice of his injuries see the article in The Newsman, 30.3.1918.  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [2] Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929, de Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-18, Vol. III, p.237., and the National Probate Calendar.

Genealogical Table

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2024
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