Spencer Henry Jeudwine (Ju. / Sc. 1906-09)


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Captain, Lincolnshire Regiment
Born: September 1st 1895
Died: July 1st 1916

Age at Death: 20

Missing, Killed in action, Ovilliers, France, July 1st 1916

Went to Malvern College. Son of Rev. G Jeudwine of Harlaxton, Grantham.

A DONATION TO THE MEMORIAL STATUE HAS BEEN MADE IN HONOUR OF THIS SOLIDER BY AN ABRAHAM HOUSE LEAVER 2016. 

Captain Spencer Henry Jeudwine
Spencer Jeudwine was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire on 22nd October 1895. He was the son of Rev George Wynne Jeudwine, the Rector of Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, and his wife Harriet (nee Phelps). He was the youngest of 11 children, including 7 sons (three of whom went on to take holy orders). After education at home by a governess he entered the school aged 11. He was apparently a bookish pupil, being commended for the effort he put into the library and coming second in his form in 1909. In that year he left the school and completed his education at Malvern College where he also excelled, wining a number of Science prizes and a place at Caius College Cambridge.

However when the war broke out in Summer 1914 instead of going up to Cambridge Jeudwine was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment in August 1914. While serving with the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, part of 8th Division, he was promoted to Lieutenant in February 1915, received a minor wound in May 1915 and was promoted again to Captain in March 1916. Excerpts from letters sent by Jeudwine from the front are very revealing both of his character and the life of a junior officer in the trenches. One reveals that he had to rely on private parcels from home for vital trench equipment like periscopes and that even in a quiet sector of the front line he could only expect 2 hours sleep in every 24.[1] A further letter reveals that army candles were both expensive and very smelly and in a context where they were using up three or four a night they needed ‘home-growns’ to supplement army supplies.[2] Finally the agony of returning to the front after Leave was clearly so great that he deliberately avoided meeting his father on his departure from Victoria Station after what was to be his last home leave.[3]

At the Somme on the 1st July 1916 the 2nd Lincolnshires were instructed to attack the German held village of Ovillers-La-Boiselle. The regimental diary records that between 7.30 am and 7:50 am they succeeded in taking control of 200 yard stretch of the first German line despite intense machine gun and rifle fire, which made an attempt to press on to the second line impossible. Their flanks were also open to attack, particularly by grenades, from the Germans still holding trenches on either side. As a result they were forced to withdraw from the gains they had made by 9am. The battalion had sustained 450 casualties, including 21 officers. Among the officer casualties reported as’ missing’ was Jeudwine.

Spencer Jeudwine has no known grave but is commemorated on Pier 1 Face C of the Thiepval Memorial, France. In addition he is depicted in a large stained glass window in what was his father’s church- St Mary and St Peter, Harlaxton, Lincolnshire.

Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15

[1] Letter from Spencer Jeudwine to his sister Katherine, February 3rd 1915.

[2] Letter from Spencer Jeudwine to his sister Katherine, February 5th 1915.

[3] Letter from Spencer Jeudwine to his sister Katherine, 13th March 1916.

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