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100 years on...We shall never forget..!

World War 1

Lance Corporal Jack D’Hooghe

“Henry Taylor (Always known as Jack) D’Hooghe was born in 1894 in Nottingham, England. He lived with his parents and siblings, Thomas Henry and Kate Clara (Nee Taylor)D’Hooghe at 69 Robin Hood Chase, Nottingham.

On the outbreak of war in August 1914 he volunteered and joined the Hussars with his younger brother Philip James (Jim) D’Hooghe.

At some point in time, Jack transferred to the infantry from the cavalry and became a Lance Corporal in the 7th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment, which was one of Kitchener’s new army battalions.

On the opening day of the Somme offensive on July 1st 1916, the 7th Suffolks were in reserve near Ovillers.

On the 2nd July they moved up to the front  and at 3.15 am on 3rd July they made a full battalion attack across some 800 yards of no mans land.

Due to the time and the surprise, the Suffolks captured the first line of German trenches at Ovillers but a heavy counter attack by the Germans and the annihilation of the Essex lads who were supporting the Suffolks by machine gun fire in no mans land, meant that the Suffolks were cut off without support in the German held village.

They held on bravely for several hours but were either killed or captured during the course of the morning.

The 7th Suffolks suffered 458 casualties from an attacking strength of 900 men and sadly Jack was never seen again. His body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

The battalion padre wrote two letters to his mother holding out hope that he may have been taken prisoner but this was not the case. ( Click here to read Transcript)

His mother Kate, lived until 1954 but never accepted that Jack was dead because his body was never found. When she died, she had Jack remembered on her own headstone.”

Biography by Jonathan D’Hooghe – Jack’s Great Nephew www.worldwar-ancestry.co.uk

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