Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Captain Herbert Kersey Turner, 4th Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment, was killed in action on the Somme.
Educated at Oundle School in Northamptonshire, he joined his family’s firm of E.R. & F. Turner of St. Peter’s and Grey Friars Works in Ipswich as an engineer. The firm had been established in 1837 and manufactured agricultural machinery, steam engines and boilers. At the outbreak of the Great War the works manager, Arthur Leggett, devised the single purpose lathe for accurately producing shell bodies; so successful was this concept that over two thousand machines were produced for plants throughout the country.
Captain Turner had joined the Suffolk Regiment in 1911, and arrived in France in November of 1914, his being one of the first reserve battalions to be sent. He saw action at Givenchy in December, and the following March was wounded at Neuve Chapelle. He returned home to recuperate, after which he accepted a post on the East Anglian Munitions Committee. In June of 1916 he returned to his regiment and the following month was killed as he was leading his men in the attack on High Wood, near Bazentin-le-Petit in France. He lies buried in the Flatiron Copse Cemetery, near the village of Mametz, close to where he fell.
Herbert, from Hadleigh in Suffolk, was 24 years old.