Date of birth: 1896
Place of birth: New Forest, Hampshire
Service number: 9987
Regiment: Hampshire Regiment
Died: 19th October 1916, aged 20
Death location: France and Flanders
Arthur Alfred Soffe’s military service record has not survived. In WW1 he served as a private in ‘Y’ convoy, 2nd battalion of the Hampshire Regiment (service number: 9987). (from his memorial and medal records) The 2nd battalion was formed in August 1914 in Mhow, India and returned to Plymouth England on 22nd December 1914, moving to Romsey then in 1915 to Stratford-upon-Avon. On 13th February 1915 the 2nd battalion of the Hampshire Regiment came under the orders of the 88th Brigade in 29th division and moved to Warwick, sailing for Gallipoli via Egypt on 29th March 1915. In January 1916 they evacuated to Egypt and on 20th March 1916 they landed at Marseilles for service in France.
Arthur Alfred Soffe died on 19th October 1916, aged 20.
He was posthumously awarded the Victory medal, the British medal and 1915 Star medal in recognition of his services to his country and is inscribed on the cenotaph at Southampton “lest we forget” and on the Thiepval memorial to the missing of the battle of the Somme with no known grave, in France.
The Star campaign medal of the British Empire was awarded for service in World War One. Also known as the Mons Star. The recipient of this medal also received the British War Medal and Victory Medal, as it was not awarded singularly. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip’.
The British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.
The Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. It was never awarded alone. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.
Life before the war
Arthur Alfred Soffe was born in the New Forest, Hampshire (vol2b p691) between March and June 1896 first son of John Soffe (born in 1864) and Harriet Lucy Peckham (born in 1871) who had married between June and August 1893 registered in the New Forest (vol 2b p1341)
His father John Soffe died in 1900. They had a total of 4 children.
The following Children of John and Harriet Lucy Soffe are confirmed from parish records as:
- Arthur Alfred was born in 1896
- Enos was born in 1898
- Victor was born in 1900
- Lilian was born in 1900 (but was not Victors twin, being born the opposite end of the same year)
In 1901 the family lived at Broadlands Road, Hampton Park, Southampton. Widowed Harriet was head of the household.
In 1911 the family continued to live at 8 Broadlands Road, Hampton Park, Southampton. Arthur Alfred was employed as a grocers oil merchant assistant.