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Russian born Jew, Abram Sadjoff enlisted in Army Reserve on 1st September 1916 in Woolwich. He was 18 years old and was living with a friend at 67 Cable Street, Stepney. Abram had been working as a ships fireman.

The Jewish War Services Committee had stated that Abram was eligible for service with the British Army. He had previously served with the Zion Mule Corps and had been attached to the Army Service Corps.

Abram was the son of Rabbi Ezra Saadia and Rachel Sadjoff, of Beth Israel, Jerusalem.

Gunner Abram Sadjoff was originally on the strength of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Field Artillery (number 156775) before he was transferred across to the infantry.

On 18th April 1917 Abram was transfered to the 2nd Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. His new service number 36243.

Less than a fortnight later, Abram found himself amongst the soldiers being transported to Egypt on the S.S Transylvania. On 4th May 1917, the Transylvania was sunk by German U-boat U-63. [Read here]

Abram was one of thirteen Loyal North Lancashire men that drowned when the ship sank, his body never being recovered from the water.

Private Abram Sadjoff is remembered on the Savona Memorial.

Rank: Private
Service No: 36243
Date of Death: 04/05/1917
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Bn.

His father, Rabbi Ezra Saadia Sadjoff, was at this time living at 82 William Street, London. He was informed of his sons death.

In September 1919, the British Army received a letter from the ‘Zionist Commission to Palestine’;

Re:  Pte 156755, A Sadjoff

Can you supply us any information of this man, concerning whom his wife has received no news since 1916? When last heard of he was in Ballincolig Camp, Ireland.


The British Army responded that Abram had died at sea, and asked for the address of his next of kin. Information came back that Abrams’ mother Rachel, and his three brothers and two sisters were living in Beth Israel, Jerusalem. The present location of his father was not known to the family in Israel.

In July 1920, the Ministry of Pensions received the following;

Dear Sir,

I the undersigned Rachel Sadjoff the mother of deceased soldier Abraham Sadjoff beg to inform your highness being at Consul Britain at Jerusalem which have been told that he can’t answer me as long as he will receive a letter of your highness.  Hence, I am taking the liberty of craving your kindness as I am in a very miserable circumstance with four children sick and without work my husband is abroad and I am here alone with four children very poor.  Petitions your amiable character to have mercy and partake in my deep sorrow as he was my son which nourished me and sent him to sacrify for the exalted English government.  Hence, send me as immediately the full pension due to my son Abraham Sadjoff.  Beg to answer the Britain Consul at Jerusalem about it.

Petition your kindness to be kind enough as to let me know the date the month of when he was drowned.

I deliver you my heartfelt gratitude for the memorial which you sent me.

I remain, yours obediently,

Rachel Sadjoff – Beth Israel. Jerusalem.


The British War Medal and Victory medal in respect of his War service were returned to sender as being undeliverable.

Paul McCormick
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