Henry Albert Jay

Date of birth: 1893
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps
Battalion: 122nd Company
Rank / Service No: Serjeant, 24156
Died: 15th September 1916, aged 24 years
Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial, France


Henry was the oldest of 8 siblings born to Henry Albert and Ann Jay (nee Miller), who married in Shirley in 1892.

The family lived at 14 Shayer Road, Shirley for many years.


Both parents were born in Shirley, Henry on 15 April 1871 and Ann on 30 June 1873.

It can be assumed that both passed away whilst living in Shirley, Henry in 1948 and Ann in 1955.



Henry Albert

Beatrice Annie   b. 1894 Shirley   d. 1901 Shirley

Charles   b. 31 May 1895 Shirley   d. 1974 Southampton   Married Daisy F. Butt in Shirley in 1921.

Ellen (Nellie)   b. 1896 Shirley   d. 1976 Southampton   Married William O. Long in Southampton in 1919.

William George   b. 1899 Shirley   d. 1901 Shirley

Ernest Bertie   b. 21 October 1902 Shirley   d. 1982 Southampton   Married Amy F. Underwood in Southampton in 1928.

Frederick Samuel b. 22 June 1904 Shirley   d. 1986 Southampton Married Florence A. Walker in Southampton in 1927.

George Richard   b. 8 May 1908 Shirley   d. 1989 Southampton   Married Dora G. Miller in Southampton in 1938.

Edith (Adela) Florence   b. 8 February 1909 Shirley   d. 1984 Southampton   Married Frederick G. Read in Southampton in 1930. Married Kenneth G. Norton in Southampton in 1956.


At the 1911 Census, Henry was with the 1st Hampshires (#448) at Aldershot. It is not known which battalion Henry was in at the outbreak of war but he was in India.


In April 1915, he took part in the first landing at Gallipoli from HMT River Clyde. It was here that he was promoted to Serjeant, “for his good work.”

At some point between January and May 1916, Henry must have transferred to the 122nd Machine Gun Corps.


In the May, the 122nd joined the 122nd Brigade in the 41st Division and were deployed in France.


Henry perished on the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Battle of the Somme.

The action began with the objective of cutting a hole in the German line by using massed artillery and infantry attacks. The resultant hole would then have been exploited with the use of cavalry.


This was the third and final general offensive mounted by the British during the Battle of the Somme.


By the end of the week-long Battle of Flers-Courcelette the Division had captured Flers but not without many hundreds of casualties.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd October 2016


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