Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Missing Soldiers

Corporal James Richard Ellison

Thursday 4th November 1915: The family of Wilstead soldier Percy Gambriel have not heard from him since the letter he wrote to his mother on 23rd/24th September and have now received worrying news. A report from the War Office stating that he had been wounded in action on 25th September has now been followed by a notice that he was posted as “missing” after the engagement which took place on that date. In response to their enquiries an adjutant of the 2nd Bedfords writes:
“The following is all I can find out about Private P.W. Gambriel. He was wounded in the foot, as soon as the Company came under fire, in the advance against the German Gun Trench on 25th September. He took off his boot, but the wound was very slight and he came on again – this I got from Private Stevens. He was then wounded in the head, again slightly – he was able to speak, and said he could get back easily. Soon afterwards he was badly hit in the arm, and was bound up and sent back to Ambulance by Sergeant Curtis, being then able to walk. No one in the Company has since heard of or from him. I sincerely hope he is getting on all right in hospital, as he fought so splendidly. Very likely he cannot write home because of his arm.”
Mr. J. Ellison of Bunyan Road, Kempston is also appealing for news of his son Corporal James Richard Ellison of the 1st/5th Bedfords who was reported as “missing, believed killed” by the War Office on September 8th. He was a member of the 5th Bedfords when they were mobilised in August 1914 and went out with the Battalion to Gallipoli on 26th July. It is hoped that his comrades in the trenches may be able to provide some information.

Source: Z1270/1/3-4; Z1270/2/21-22; Bedfordshire Standard, 5th November 1915

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