5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment
William Armes, known as Morriss was the eldest of 3 sons of William and Sarah Armes. He had 2 brothers: Raymond Linay, who lost his life serving with the North Staffordshire Regiment and is also remembered on the Sudbury War Memorial and Reginald John, who joined his brother to serve with the North Staffordshire Regiment and survived the war. William was the managing director of William Armes and Sons, a prosperous coir mat and matting manufacturers in Cornard Road, which was founded by his grandfather. He took over the family business despite setting his heart on a military career. Morriss was unmarried and lived with the family at Hardwicke House, Stour Street, Sudbury.
At the outbreak of war he was the commanding officer of the 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, which comprised of volunteer part-time soldiers. He was in command when the battalion embarked on the Aquitania in Liverpool in July 1915, heading for Gallipoli in the eastern Mediterranean.
In a letter to his sister Ethel sent just before he left, he wrote ‘It will be quite a family party out there but Old Man Turk may throw in the sponge before we get there. I look forward to the voyage but not so much to the discomfort and flies when we land’ Six days after his division landed at Suvla Bay, he was reported ‘wounded but missing’. Private Harvey from Hadleigh told the family after the war that the battalion was under heavy fire, but Lt. Col. Armes went on. He was wounded in the chest but raised himself and was waving his revolver and shouting to his men when he was hit twice more in the face.
His death was not confirmed until the following year. He is recorded as having died aged 43 on 12th August 1915. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Morriss is also remembered on the Chilton Church Memorial and the memorial window in St. Gregory’s Church, Sudbury.
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