Thursday, 23 June 2016

Soldier Dies of Diphtheria

Eversholt Church c.1910 [Z1130/44/4]

Friday 23rd June 1916: With so many soldiers paying the ultimate price at the Front it is easy to forget that this is not the only danger they face. Infectious diseases can also take their toll, particularly with men living in the close conditions of an army camp. The suddenness of such deaths can be particularly cruel. Edward Oakley of Eversholt was home from Ampthill training camp earlier in the week and was not feeling well, but it came as a great shock when he died yesterday from diphtheria. His funeral is to be held on Tuesday and will be attended with full military honours. A keen local cricketer, Mr Oakley will be sadly missed by his former team mates. He leaves a widow and two small daughters. [1]

Source: Bedfordshire Times, 30th June 1916

[1] Ironically a second man named Edward Oakley also from Eversholt died just over a week later on July 1st, killed in action in France with the 7th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. 

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