Sergeant, 200777, 1/4th (T.F) Battalion (Royal) Hampshire Regiment
Died in hospital at Kasvin, Mesopotamia, 5 October 1918, aged 27
Buried in Kasvin Russian Kasvin Russian Cemetery[1], Persia
Grave Reference: Row 4 Grave 4

Tehran War Cemetery
(Click to enlarge)

Jack Frederick Sippetts was christened at Forest Row on 30 October 1892, the son of Richard and Jemima Sippetts (née). In 1901 he was living at Queensborough Cottage with his parents; he seems to have been the only child. His father was enumerated in the census as a bricklayer's labourer and his mother as a laundress. He has not been found in the 1911 census, though his father — a general labourer — and mother were living at 5, Castle Cottages in Forest Row.

Jack enlisted at Hamilton Camp, Hampshire, and was 26 or 27 when he died. The entry in the Remembrance Book in Holy Trinity Church, signed by his mother, Jemima Sippetts, of 3, Castle Cottages, Forest Row, states that he was born on Tompsetts Bank (which places him in the heart of Ashdown Forest) and died in hospital in Kasvin, Mesopotamia (presumably Qazvin in modern Iran, about 150 km north-west of Tehran). However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website places him in Tehran Cemetery. It also records the following inscription, presumably on his headstone:

He bravely answered duty's call and then he died for one and all.


CWGC Graves Registration Report
(Click to enlarge)

The entry above gives his age as 26, which would agree with a christening in October 1892. However, his mother gave his age as 27 in the Forest Row Memorial Book. Given that there is no record of either his parents' marriage, or of his own birth registration, I suspect he may have been born out of wedlock and not baptised as an infant.

The UK Army Register of Soldiers' Effects shows his mother Jemima receiving two payments; the first, of £77 5 shillings and 9 pence on 14 September 1919 and the second, of £8 16 shillings, on 9 April 1920.

Register of Soldiers' Effects: Jack Frederick Sippetts
(Click to enlarge)

Jack was the only person listed in the Remembrance Book as having been part of the 1/4th Hampshire Regiment, and the only person to have died and be buried at Kasvin. The 1/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment was formed as part of the Territorial Force at Winchester in 1914 as part of the Hampshire Brigade in Wessex Division. If Jack joined up at the outbreak of war he would have sailed with them to India in August 1914. By March 1915, though, the battalion was in Basra and remained in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war.

Queensborough Cottage was an adapted, timber-framed Wealden house, and stood across the present Forresters Green from the pub. It was also known, presumably ironically, as Queensborough Castle. It was demolished in the 1930s, but there is a picture in the Peter Kirby photographic collection. Castle Cottages were situated near the Brambletye Castle pub.

Pam Griffiths


1) The CWGC site refers to this as Kasvin British War Cemetery; there is no reference to a Kasvin Russian Cemetery. [^]