Thursday, 13 July 2017

News of Heath and Reach Soldiers

Heath and Reach, 1905 [Z1130/57/4]

Friday 13th July 1917: Private James Baker, aged 23, who died of wounds on Tuesday, has been buried with full military honours in the cemetery at Heath and Reach. Private Baker was wounded and advised by his officer to go to the dressing station, but insisted on staying to attended to injured comrades in greater need. However when he returned to the battlefield he received another wound which after seven weeks of acute suffering caused his death. He was treated in Leeds Infirmary, where he had one leg amputated and underwent three further operations. Despite the best efforts of the doctors he finally succumbed to his injuries. Private Baker was attached to the 7th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps and had been serving in France as a stretcher bearer for eight months. He was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry.

Mrs A. Hines of Thomas Street in Heath has heard that her husband Private A. Hines has been hospitalised in France with an injured back. He and five others were with a labour party of the Queen’s West Surrey Regiment when a shell exploded nearby, burying all six men. Only Private Hines escaped alive. A third Heath man, Private W. Kenny of the Bedfordshire Regiment, has been discharged from the army. After active service in Egypt he suffered a nervous breakdown and has since spent several months in hospital in Scotland.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer 10th and 17th July 1917

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