Private, G/1306, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action at Hill 60, Aubers Ridge, France, 9 May 1915, aged 20
No known grave. He is listed on the Le Touret Memorial: Panel 20 and 21

Thomas Edward Honeysett

Private Thomas Edward Honeysett, G/1306, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, died aged 20 on 9 May 2015 during an attack on Hill 60 near Aubers Ridge, Béthune, Pas de Calais, France. He has no known grave and is listed on the Le Touret Memorial: Panel 20 and 21.

He was born in Wittersham, Kent, and his birth was registered at Tenterden in 1895. The family are recorded by the census in 1911 as living at Yew Tree Cottage, Butcherfield Lane, Hartfield.

He was the son of Sophronia and Charles Honeysett, who originally lived in Horsmonden, Kent. Thomas Edward was listed as living there aged five in the 1901 Census. He had eight siblings. In the 1911 census Charles was listed as a carter on a farm while Thomas was an agricultural labourer aged 17. Sophronia died in 1927 at the age of 59, and her death was registered in East Grinstead.

Thomas Edward had several brothers who also served in the Great War but who apparently survived (see press article below).

Source: Kent & Sussex Courier, 11 May 1917

Elder brother Charles was born in Beckley in Sussex in the district of Northiam. He was aged 20 in 1911 and was listed as a farm labourer in Hope Mill Cottages, Goudhurst, Kent. In 1914 he was working as a labourer in Tonbridge and was listed by his boss as "very good" at Edward Punnett & Sons. He enlisted on 13 October 1914 and served with the Royal Engineers, Kent Fortress Company. Sapper Charles Honeysett was invalided to England in December 1915. He was discharged on demobilisation in July 1919. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War Victory medal in 1922. He qualified as a fitter with the Royal Engineers in 1917.

His brother Frederick Honeysett, aged 19 years and 3 months, enlisted on 10 January 1916 with the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester. He was listed as living at Yew Tree Cottage, Butcherfield Lane, Hartfield. He later transferred to 13th London Regiment and transferred to the Royal Engineers in May 1917. He was a farm worker before enlisting. It is assumed that he survived the war.

Thomas Edward's brother William was registered as a cowman in Bakers Cottages, West Road, Goudhurst, Kent in the 1911 census, aged 19. His brother William John was 20 in 1911 and was registered as a labourer in Eastbourne.

His brother Alfred married Mary Hills in East Grinstead in 1925. His brother Ernest married Sarah Willey in 1927 in East Grinstead. Both were listed by the census as scholars in Pembury in 1911.

Le Touret Memorial

Thomas Edward Honeysett enlisted in September 1914 at Tunbridge Wells in the Royal Sussex Regiment. A private in the 2nd Battalion, he was killed in action during an attack on Hill 60 near Aubers Ridge. The 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, were engaged in the assault attacking the German lines at Richebourg L'Avoue. They experienced heavy machine gun fire and high explosive shells. The action on 9 May 1915 resulted in the death and wounding of 14 officers and 548 other ranks.

He is commemorated on the Hartfield War Memorial and on the memorial in Holy Trinity, Coleman's Hatch.

Carol O'Driscoll