Saturday, 23 April 2016

Wilden Loses its First Soldier

Wilden Church c.1905 [Z1130/132/1]

Sunday 23rd April 1916: The loss of the first soldier from Wilden to be killed in action has been announced in the parish magazine: “The news that Private Albert Peet had been killed in action in France has been received with deep regret, and everyone feels the deepest sympathy with his parents in their bereavement. After being at the Front for a long time Private Peet was in England on short leave as recently as April 10th. He returned to the Front, and was killed on April 18th [1]. He was buried in the British Cemetery at Vermelles. He is the first man from Wilden in the present war who has laid down his life for his country [2].”

Source: Bolnhurst, Colmworth, Roxton with Great Barford, Ravensden and Wilden Parish Magazine, June 1916 [P28/30/23]

[1] The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and his medal card record his date of death as 19th April 1916. Albert Peet was born at Wilden in 1879 but by 1901 had moved to Carshalton in Surrey where he was working as a cowman. He enlisted with the 6th Battalion of The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. at Croydon and was sent out to France on 1st June 1915.

[2] The war memorial inside St. Nicholas Church, Wilden, lists the names of eleven men killed in the First World War. 

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