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1898 –1918

Early Life

GILBERT JOLIFFE TUFNELL was born on the 19 December 1898 in Warley, Essex, the eldest son of Captain Beauchamp Le Fevre (Essex Regiment) and Blanche Olivia Tufnell (née Davidson). His parents were married on the 8th July 1897 in the Parish Church in Sidmouth, Devon. Beauchamp Le Fevre was living at Langleys, Great Waltham.


Gilbert was baptised on the 9th March 1899 in the Parish Church, Great Waltham.

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In the 1901 Census the family were living at Babergh Hall, Great Waldingfield, Sudbury, in Suffolk. Beauchamp’s occupation was given as a Game Farmer and the family had three servants, a Ladies maid, a Nurse and a Domestic Servant.


 Gilbert’s younger sister, Olga was born on the 25th January 1905 and his younger brother, Louis De Saumarez was born on the 23 April 1908. They were baptised in the Parish Church at Great Waltham.


On the night of the 1911 Census, Beauchamp, now a Pheasant Farmer was living at The Lodge at Little Waltham, with the two younger children, whilst his wife, Blanche, was away staying the night with a family in London.

Meanwhile, Gilbert was a Boarder at a private school, Winton House, at Winchester in Hampshire. From here in 1911, aged nearly 13 years, he went to Eton College until 1916.

Military Life

Gilbert joined the Royal Military Academy, (RMA) Woolwich, in south east London on the 2nd March 1917. This was a British Army military academy for the training of commissioned officers of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.  He left the Academy on the 24th January 1918 as a Gentleman Cadet and entered the Royal Garrison Artillery the following day, the 25th January, as a 2nd Lieutenant.

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Death and Memorial

Less than a month later on the 22nd February 1918, Gilbert was taken ill whilst going for his firing course and died at Queen Alexandra Military Hospital in Westminster, London. He was 19 years of age.

His funeral took place with full military honours at Great Waltham on Tuesday 26th February 1918. His body was brought to Chelmsford by train and the coffin was covered with the Union Jack, on which, rested his sword and floral tributes. The coffin was taken to the church by military vehicles drawn by a pair of horses. In the village the procession was witnessed by a large gathering and the church was well filled.

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Gilbert is also remembered on the War Memorial in Great Waltham.

Gilbert's grave in Great Waltham


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UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929


Gilbert’s effects of £10 were transferred to Messrs Cox & Co, the Army Agents. Officers were paid via Agents, whereas soldiers were paid in cash by their unit paymaster.

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