Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Recent Casualties

All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard c.1905 [Z1306/72/2/1]

Thursday 19th September 1916: Sadly news has reached us of a large number of recent casualties from Leighton Buzzard. These include:

Cecil H. Green: the youngest surviving son of the late Mr. W. S. Green of Grove Road was admitted to hospital in France on Sunday September 8th and died of wounds the next day. Cecil, who was 29 years old, was educated at Berkhamsted and then spent two years at Colchester learning the corn trade before joining his uncle’s corn merchant’s business. He enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion in September 1914 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in October 1915. He had been at the Front since 27th December.

Private John Horne:  a Beds Regiment reservist, who has previously served in the army for four years, he was called up when the War broke out. He was sent to France early on and had since been in the thick of the fighting. He had previously been slightly wounded in the hand, had been gassed, and had been hospitalised with fever. He came through the advance on the Somme which took place on 25th September without a scratch and had just been relieved from the trenches. He was asleep in a hut behind the lines when it was bombed by an enemy aeroplane, killing three and wounding eighteen of the occupants. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Horne of 11 Hockliffe Road, have now been officially informed of his death.

Lance-Corporal James Wernham: the following letter has been received by Mrs. Wernham of 12, Regent Street from a comrade of her son in the Border Regiment … “Your son James and myself have been very close friends since he was transferred from the Bedfordshire Regiment at Felixtowe. In the early hours of the morning (September 24th) whilst on duty, the Boches were firing away, and I regret to say, he fell. I could not leave my post to see if he was dead at that moment, but every possible assistance was there, and he passed away in a very few seconds. During the later part of the morning we buried him.” Lance-Corporal Wernher was a former scholar at the Hockliffe Street Baptist Sunday School.

Lance-Corporal F. C. Gibbs: the 19 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs of South Street, he joined the Royal Sussex Regiment two years ago and was sent to France about a month before he was killed on 28th September. He was an old boy of the British School, and a former chorister and bell-ringer at All Saints’ Church. A muffled peal is to be rung on the All Saints’ bells on Sunday evening in his memory.

Private Fred Sear: the son of Mrs. Sear of 15, Vandyke Road is now in hospital at Stourbridge suffering from wounds in his right leg and both feet. He has sent a cheerful letter home saying that he is going on satisfactorily. He joined the County of London Regiment in March 1916, and had only been in France for a very short time.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 17th October 1916

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