BORN HULL 1886. SON OF THOMAS HENRY ABBA (1855-1920) & THE LATE ELIZABETH JOHNSON (1860-1908), AT 9 SPYVEE STREET, HULL. SON OF A CABINET MAKER. ONE OF SIX CHILDREN. HIS FAMILY ALSO LIVED 23 & 100 WITHAM & 47 COURTNEY STREET, HULL. HE WAS A SALESMAN AND COLLECTOR BEFORE THE WAR.
HE ENLISTED IN HULL. FORMERLY, PRIVATE, 22536, EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT. HE TRANSFERRED TO THE 2ND YORKSHIRE HUSSARS. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, ON 21/05/1917. KILLED IN ACTION 09/04/1917, AGED 31. HE WAS A SINGLE MAN AND HIS ARMY EFFECTS WERE LEFT TO HIS FATHER THOMAS ABBA.
HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, PRIVATE, HAROLD ABBA, 10TH EYR, WAS KILLED AT OPPY WOOD A MONTH EARLIER ON 03/05/1917. ANOTHER BROTHER WALTER ALSO SERVED AND SURVIVED THE WAR.
During this action at Gavrelle on 3rd May 1917, the Battalion war diary recorded: ‘At 3.45 a.m. our barrage commenced and the Battalion went forward to the attack, and from information received afterwards, reached the first objective without serious losses. Heavy Artillery and Machine Guns on both sides remained very active, and at 5.30 a.m. no definite information had been received. About this time wounded men were beginning to dribble in, and from their accounts it was obvious that our attack had failed in reaching its second objective, and also in holding the first.’ Things were getting desperate and Battalion Headquarters admin staff were sent forward. The war diary continued:
‘All stragglers were collected and organized, and about 7.30 a.m. 80 men were available in the front line [out of the original attacking strength of 547 all ranks]. There was no touch with Battalions on either left or right, so trenches were blocked, and bombing parties stationed on each flank.’
The attack was stopped by an enemy counter attack and reinforcements were sent forward. However, by the end of the day only three officers returned, all three were wounded. The losses were 4 officers killed and 8 missing; other rank numbers were 15 killed, 122 wounded and 26 missing.