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

Tom Honeysett was born in Wittersham, Kent, and his birth was registered at Tenterden in 1895. He was the son of Sophronia and Charles Honeysett, who originally lived in Horsmonden, Kent. He was listed as living in Horsmonden, aged five, in the 1901 Census. He had eight siblings. In the 1911 census the family is recorded as living at Yew Tree Cottage, Butcherfield Lane, Hartfield, with Charles listed as a carter on a farm while Tom was an agricultural labourer aged 17.

Le Touret Cemetery and Memorial

Le Touret Memorial and Cemetery
(Click to enlarge)

Tom Honeysett enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment at Tunbridge Wells in September 1914. A private in the 2nd Battalion, he was killed in action on 9 May 2015 during an assault on the German lines on Hill 60 at Richebourg L'Avoué near Aubers Ridge, Béthune, Pas de Calais, France. The battalion was subjected to heavy machine gun fire and high explosive shells, resulting in the death and wounding of 14 officers and 548 other ranks. Tom Honeysett was aged 20 when he died. He has no known grave and is listed on the Le Touret Memorial: Panel 20 and 21. He is commemorated on the Hartfield War Memorial and on the memorial in Holy Trinity, Coleman's Hatch.

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

Newspaper cutting about the Honeysett family
(Click to enlarge)
Source: Kent & Sussex Courier, 11 May 1917

Eldest 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 living at 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, as a sapper. Charles was invalided to England in December 1915. He qualified as a fitter with the Royal Engineers in 1917. He was discharged on demobilisation in July 1919. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War Victory medal in 1922.

Fred Honeysett, aged 19 years and 3 months, a farm worker, 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. It is assumed that he survived the war.

Of Tom's other brothers, William was registered as a cowman in Bakers Cottages, West Road, Goudhurst, Kent in the 1911 census, aged 19. William John Honeysett was 20 in 1911 and was registered as a labourer in Eastbourne. Alfred married Mary Hills in East Grinstead in 1925. Ernest married Sarah Willey in 1927 in East Grinstead. Both Alfred and Ernest were listed by the census as scholars in Pembury in 1911.

The mother, Sophronia Honeysett, died in 1927 at the age of 59, and her death was registered in East Grinstead.

Carol O'Driscoll