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David James Chaplin

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard

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Private David James Chaplin

 Menin Gate

16939  1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment.


David Chaplin was born in Sudbury around 1875.  He was the son of James and Mary Chaplin.  Before moving to Sudbury Road, Great Cornard the family of four were living at 23 School Street, Sudbury.  His father was an agricultural labourer and his mother was a laundress.


Prior to enlisting David was also employed as a farm labourer, he enlisted in Sudbury and served with the Suffolk Regiment in the same battalion as Robert Parmenter.  His younger brother Arthur served with the Queens (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.


David is recorded as having first served in a ‘theatre of war’ in France on 1st April 1915.  The 1st Battalion saw action in the Second Battle of Yprés (22nd  April – 25th May 1915), where it was involved in a major engagement on 24th April.   By the 28th April the battalion had lost almost 400 men.  The battalion also experienced poison gas used against them for the first time.


He was killed in action only 5 weeks later on 8th May 1915.  There is no known grave and he is remembered on the Menin Gate, Yprés, Belgium. 


The Menin Gate Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in the Yprés Salient and bears the names of 54,322 British and Commonwealth casualties who have no known grave and who died between October 1914 and 16th August 1917.


David was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.


A Cross of Remembrance was laid at the Menin Gate Memorial on 15th April 2006.


Photo - Shirley Smith

©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008