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Jefferson, R.T., L/Cpl., 1918

Level Crossing Cemetery Fampoux

In Level Crossing Cemetery Fampoux near Arras is the Commonwealth War Grave of 20555 Lance Corporal Robert Taylor Jefferson serving with the Coldstream Guards who died 18/01/1918.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Robert Taylor Jefferson was born at Cullercoats, Northumberland in 1888 and married in the district of Tynemouth in 1909, Jessie McDermat Sample, born 1887 at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland in 1887 and with whom he had a son, William Mark Jefferson born in 1910. In 1911 they were living at 48, Simpson Street, Cullercoats, Robert supported his family working for a builder as a bricklayerís labourer.

On the outbreak of war he enlisted at North Shields where he was assigned as Private 20555 to the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, Guards Division and departed to France as of January 1916. The Coldstream Guards maintained 4 Battalions on the Western Front for the duration of the war and for the only time in their existence the 1st, 2nd and 3rd attacked in line at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, September 15th-22nd 1916 during the Battles of the Somme. At their conclusion they moved north to the Ypres salient, Belgium where they fought during the Battle of Passchendaele until November 1917 when they returned to France. The attack November 20th-December 6th 1917 known as the Battle of Cambrai was a British attack followed by the largest German counter-attack against the British Expeditionary Force since 1914 in the hope they might end the war victorious before the arrival of the Americans, however by the end of the battle, the position of both sides was virtually unchanged for the loss of over 40,000 casualties on both sides and 9,000 taken prisoner.

The 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards returned to the Arras sector in 1918 in preparation for the Spring Offensive, planned to begin March 20th 1918. Having risen through the ranks the now Lance Corporal 20555 Robert Taylor Jefferson was killed in action January 18th 1918 and interred at Level Crossing Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, grave II. B. 32. He was 30 years old.

His widow Jessie of 26, Upper Reed Street, North Shields, Northumberland received all monies due to him, his awards of the British War Medal and Victory Medal and a pension for herself and their son until she remarried in 1922 in the district of Tynemouth to William Harvey with whom she had a daughter Jessie Harvey born in 1924.

Jessie McDermat Harvey-Jefferson nee Sample died aged 83 years in the district of Tynemouth, Northumberland in 1970. Robert and Jessieís son William Mark Jefferson died aged 65 years in 1975, registered district of North Tyneside.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Robert Taylor Jefferson is remembered at North Shields on N34.22 at Cullercoats on C68.01 and at Tynemouth on T36.14

The CWGC entry for Lance Corporal Jefferson

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk