Jabez Stephen Radford

Jabez Stephen Radford
Born in St Ives in 1899, Jabez was the eldest of three sons and a daughter born to Arthur, a cattle dealer, and Phyllis (née Flanders). Jabez was named after his maternal uncle, Jabez Flanders, a publican at the Three Tuns in West Street, St Ives, with whom at the age of 2yrs he was staying in 1901. Jabez's parents weren't far away, also living in West Street. This location seems to have been very much a family favourite, with several other cattle dealing Radfords living in West Street.

By 1911 Jabez was back with his family. His father's occupation is shown as cattle dealer and publican of the Three Tuns in West Street, St Ives, having taken over the licence from his brother-in-law in 1905.

The Military Service Act 1916 introduced conscription for men aged 18 to 40yrs, so Jabez was enlisted in 1917. Initially assigned to the 22nd Training Reserve Battalion for basic training, he most likely landed in France in late 1917, assigned as a rifleman to the 8th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

King's Royal Rifle Corps
The King's Royal Rifle Corps under inspection
On 21 March 1918 the Germans started their spring offensive with a terrific bombardment of 3.5 million shells in five hours, a high percentage of which were of chlorine, tear and mustard gas. It was a morning of thick fog with visibility reduced to ten yards and the Germans, by using a new method of infiltration rather than attacking in line, easily penetrated deep behind the thinly held British front lines. Vastly outnumbered and in complete disarray, pockets of soldiers were surrounded and fought on until they ran out of ammunition.

Jabez was initially reported missing by the Hunts Post on 3 May 1918. It was later confirmed he died of wounds during the German assault on Thursday 21 March 1918. He was aged 19yrs and has no known grave. Jabez is commemorated at the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

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Source materials
Click any of the links below to view original source materials.
1901 Census
1911 Census
War diary, 8th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
Register of Soldiers Effects
Commonwealth War Graves Register
Commemorative Certificate

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