Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Double Tragedy

Cheapside, Luton, c.1914 [Z1306/75/10/12/1]

Friday 16th October 1914, Luton: A family living in Wimborne Road has suffered a dreadful loss. They heard last Friday that their twenty-two year old son Private Horace Weedon, serving in France with the Grenadier Guards, had been killed in action. It took nearly a month for the news to come through as he was killed between the fourteenth and the sixteenth of September during the Battle of the Marne. Horace had been a pupil at Chapel Street and Waller Street schools. A well-built lad, over six feet tall, he worked first at Mr Treasure’s furniture store in Cheapside, then at the Diamond Foundry. After leaving the foundry he served in the Grenadier Guards for three years. When he left the Guards in November 1913 he joined the police force in Birmingham. As a reservist he was called up at the beginning of the war and sent immediately to the front. Soon after they heard of his death Mr and Mrs Weedon received a letter from the son saying “just a few lines to let you know I am all right. We are doing a bit of fighting and we are having a pretty hard time of it. Remember me to all at home. With love, Horace.”

Horace Weedon [from Luton News 19th November 1914]

As they grieved for their eldest son the family suffered a second tragedy: Horace’s younger brother Frank died on Monday from diphtheria, just three days after his parents heard of his brother's death. They also have to endure the anxiety of having two other teenage sons in the services: Jack is at the front with the 1st Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment, and George is in the navy serving on HMS Powerful. 

Source: Luton News 15th October 1914

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