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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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Jesse Miles (1897-1918) - Pte G/14065 2 nd  Bn Royal Sussex Regiment    Jesse   Miles    was   the   third   of   four   sons   of   Eneas   and   Charlotte   Emma   (nee   Lane)   Miles   of   Horsham.   He   was   born   in   Victoria   Street, Horsham around the end of December 1897 and was baptised in St Mary’s, Horsham on 30 th  January 1898. In   the   1911   census   he   was   still   living   with   his,   now   widowed,   father   in   Horsham   and   moved   with   him   to   Barns   Green   when   he   moved with   Eneas’   new   wife   Vashti   a   couple   of   years   later.   This   of   course   made   Jesse   step   brother   to   Horace   Lucas   whose   sacrifice   is   recorded on an earlier page. Jesse   signed   up   with   the   2 nd    Battalion   Royal   Sussex   Regiment   as   Private   G/14065   in   late   August/early   September   1916.   At   this   time   the 2 nd    Sussex   were   heavily   embroiled   in   the   fighting   on   the   Somme   and   it   is   likely   that   Jesse   was   recruited   as   part   of   the   drive   to   rebuild   the Battalion after the losses experienced in this phase of the conflict. Although   we   do   not   have   a   date   of   embarkation,   it   is   likely   that   Jesse   would   have   been   with   the   regiment   in   France   by   the   beginning   of the   following   year   and   would   have   fought   with   them   through   the   remainder   of   their   time   on   the   Somme.   By   the   time   they   left   for   the northern part of the front near Ypres in May 1917, the regiment had lost over 10,000 officers and men, but Jesse had survived. Although   there   was   time   for   rest   and   recuperation   along   the   Flanders   coast,   more   fighting   was   experienced   in   June   before   the   Battalion was   withdrawn   for   a   summer   posting   to   Le   Clipon   camp   to   prepare   for   a   secret   combined   military   and   naval   offensive   being   planned   for later   in   the   year.   This   action   did   not   come   to   fruition   however   and   November   found   the   battalion   back   in   the   fighting   –   this   time   in   the mud of Passchendaele. A   further   five   months   in   the   Ypres   area   followed   before   the   Battalion   moved   south   once   more   to   the   area   around   Cambrai   and   eventually even further south to Arras and the “100 Days” offensive that led to the final defeat of Imperial Germany. It was here, on the 18 th  September 1918, in the assault on Vadencourt, that Jesse was killed in action. The   War   Diary   describes   the   action   in   some   detail   but   Jesse   is   not   mentioned   by   name.   He   was   simply   one   of   21   “Other   Ranks”   killed   on this day. He   has   no   known   grave   and   is   commemorated   on   the   Vis-en-Artois   Memorial   about   10   kilometres   south-east   of   Arras   and   on   the Itchingfield War Memorial. For his service he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
The Fallen