Friday, 17 April 2015

Funeral of a Kempston Soldier

Sapper Herbert Bitchiner

Saturday 17th April 1915: A funeral has been held at Kempston Cemetery today for Sapper Herbert Bichener of the Royal Engineers, son of the landlord of the Black Horse Inn in Bunyan Road, Kempston. Before the war Sapper Bitchener worked for the Engineering Department at Bedford Post Office. As a reservist he returned to his Regiment at the beginning of the war and was sent to the Front in November. He was wounded in the side by a piece of shrapnel at Neuve Chapelle on 11th March. He underwent two operations at the Military Hospital at Brighton, but died on Wednesday aged 23. A large crowd attended the funeral to show their respects to a gallant soldier who died in the defence of his country. The mourners included Sapper Bitchener’s parents, sisters Violet and Grace and brother Philip.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 23rd April 1915

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