Church Square, Toddington c.1900 [Z1130/126/32]
Tuesday 6th February 1917: The parents of Private William Alexander Horley of Toddington have received the following letter from a comrade of their son:
“Will was dangerously wounded by shrapnel bullet in the head. I was in the clearing station at the time he was brought in and followed him to Hospital, where I saw him again this morning. He never again regained consciousness and passed away soon afterwards. We had been comrades at Halton together, and he was as true a friend as one could desire. Godly and upright he has gone home earlier than we should have wished. It may comfort you in your bereavement to know that his last conversation to me within two hours of his being hit was of his home and then of things spiritual. We being comrades together, promised each other that we would write if anything happened to one another, and this is my fulfilment of that compact. God comfort and strengthen you is the sincere wish of Will’s chum.”
Private Horley was the son of William Edward Alexander Horley who keeps a grocer’s business at Toddington. Before the war he helped his father in his trade and was an active worker in the affairs of the parish church. He trained at Halton Park and left for the Front not long before Christmas.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 6th February 1917