Sapper Percy W. Cobb
Saturday 27th October 1917: News has reached Bedford that Sapper Percy W. Cobb of the East Anglian Royal Engineers died of wounds at Lord Derby’s Military Hospital, Warrington on 22nd October. Before the war Percy Cobb worked as a fitter for Messrs. W. H. Allen. Following Kitchener’s call for volunteers he joined the East Anglian Royal Engineers on 31st December 1914 and was sent to France in the following April. He remained on active service until August 4th 1916 when he was severely wounded by shrapnel in the legs and body during fighting in Delville Wood. He lay in the open for many hours before a stretcher party could reach him, losing a great deal of blood. After being brought back to England Sapper Cobb underwent ten operations, but the effects of poisoned shrapnel left little hope for recovery. He was visited on a number of occasions by his wife, and arrangements had been made for him to be moved to the Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital at Bedford, but this ultimately proved impossible.
Sapper Cobb’s funeral, which took place at Bedford Cemetery on Saturday, was attended by a number of workmen both from W. H. Allen’s Queen’s Engineering works and from the Grafton Works, where his father, Mr. G. W. Cobb , is a foreman. The cortege left Sapper Cobb’s home at 23 Brereton Road with the band of the Royal Engineers in front, and the coffin, covered by the Union Jack, on a gun carriage pulled by six horses. The family are well known local supporters of the Conservative party, and a brother of Sapper Cobb has served with the Territorials since the beginning of the war.
Source: Bedfordshire Times, 2nd November 1917