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Parish Magazine - War Records 1917

Lemsford News March 1917


War Notes – We are glad to hear that those of our local soldiers who are, or have been in Hospital, Private E. Brown, E. Joiner, A. Wren, and P. White, are getting on well. Private E. Mardleand F. Wren have gone abroad again. Our congratulations to Sergt. Cochrane, 12th Royal Sussex Regiment, on his promotion to his present rank. W. Blackstone has arrived safely in England after an adventurous voyage from New York. After having encountered a terrific gale, the ship was stopped by a German raider, the crew naturally expected it was a case of taking to the boats, but fortunately for them the services of the vessel were required, and fifty people, including a woman and child from other sunken ships, were sent on board, and they were told to land them at a certain point, which they did before proceeding to their destination


Lemsford News April 1917


War Notes. - Letters have at last been received, giving particulars of Cecil Whiteand Christopher Wren, who lost their lives in the first months of the Somme battle. Captain Finnie, of the 4th Fusiliers, who is not unknown in Lemsford, writes to Mr & Mrs White: “You have already been informed that your son was sniped on the 16th August. His equipment, along with many other sets, was blown to pieces, after it had been taken off his body. Your son was buried by men of his own company. He was a splendid soldier and liked by all in the company. he died doing his duty, a thing I know you will be proud to hear. His comrades sympathise with you in your great loss”
 A Corporal in another regiment has written to Mrs Wren about her son: by some mischance the letter written last July , was only received last month. It says: “We started in the front line at half past three in the morning; during one of our halts, I was at the head of our section, I met your dear boy, he had been wounded, and I helped him to a place of safety: we made him quite comfortable, and gave him necessary attention until further aid came. I had to go further up the line: about an hour and a half later, we had to retire, and we stayed just where your son was, and I went and saw how he was. Our doctor was there: he was quite cheerful at the time, and our platoon stretcher bearers took him away to a large dressing station. At night, I was asked to go to the dressing station, and there was your son laid out. I took his personal belongings, and we buried him in a soldiers cemetery near Albert. I must tell you that he was quite prepared to die; he asked me in the early morning to write to you if anything should happen to him, if I came through alright. Our Captain gave me permission to write to all the Boy’s people who I had anything for.” It must be a great consolation to those who loved them, to know that these two brave young fellows were spared prolonged suffering, and that all that was possible was done for them.


Lemsford News June 1917


Roll of Honour: It is with great regret we have to add another name to our Roll of Honour. Bombardier R. Goodge R.F.A., son of Mrs Walter Goodge, died in France on April 23rd, of wounds received the previous day, when he was hit by a piece of gas shell. Previous to the war he was on the Great Northern Railway and was one of the first to join the Army in August 1914. A service in his memory was held in the Parish Church on Sunday, May 20th, at Evensong when there was a large congregation, part of the Burial Service was read and appropriate hymns and psalms were beautifully sung while the organist exquisitely rendered most appropriate music. Much sympathy is felt for his mother.

War Note – Among those who were saved from a transport, torpedoed last month, in the Mediterranean, was Pte. W. Sear, N. Staffs Regt., son of Mr & Mrs Sear, North Road. Of his terrible experiences he writes to his parents: “I have only God to thank for saving me from a watery grave. The boat I was on got torpedoed Sunday night about 5.30, with about 3,000 troops on board. How I was saved I don't know. I was drifting about for twelve hours in a swamped boat, up to my waist in water, expecting to down any minute. There were three of us in the boat, and two dead men; we sang hymns all night. I am in hospital with bruised legs where they got bashed against the boat, it turned over five or six times, and we had to cling on to the bottom of it; don't worry about me, I shall soon be alright again.”


Lemsford News July 1917


War Notes – The friends of Tempy. Captain B. Finnie will be glad to hear that he has been awarded the Military Cross for “leading him men with the utmost gallantry at Harpe on April 9th,” when he was severely wounded with shell shock. We hear that Private E. Joiner has returned to France after several months in Netley Hospital; he was wounded in the autumn of last year.


Lemsford News September 1917


Roll of Honour,_ News has been received by Mr & Mrs Cochrane of the death of their son, Private D. Cochrane, of the West Kent Regiment., killed in action on July 5th. Private Cochrane formerly lived in Stanborough. Much sympathy is felt for his parents, and widow who is left with four little children. Mr & Mrs Cochrane’s eldest son died in South Africa, so this is the second they have lost in the service of their country.

Private S. Bunnage (Cromer Hyde) and W. Saunders (Stanborough), have both been wounded; they are in Hospital in England and doing well. His friends in Lemsford will be grieved to hear that Private Rhodes, Bed Regt., is reported “Missing”. He was a valued servant of Lord and Lady Mount Stephen, who hope to hear news of him that he is still alive, even if a prisoner.


Lemsford News October 1917


War Note - We regret to hear that Sergt. James Cochrane has been seriously wounded. We gather that the bullet, after passing through his elbow, entered his chest. His escape was providential, and we sincerely hope that he will soon be restored to health again. He is at present in Hospital in Sheffield.


Lemsford News December 1917


The war has once again brought sorrow to Lemsford homes, Private Fred Bunnage R.M.L.I. having lost his life at sea on November 6th. Private Bunnage, who was born in Lemsford, had served 18 years; at the beginning of the war he was in H.M.S. Birmingham, when she distinguished herself by sinking one of the first enemy submarines by a wonderful shot; he was at the Battle of Jutland in the same ship. The ship to which he was afterwards appointed was sunk last year when he was among the ones rescued. Much sympathy will be felt for his brother and sisters who live in Cromer Hyde. Only a month ago he was with them on a short leave.

Since the above was written news has come to Mrs John Hill that her youngest son was killed in action in France on November 6th. Private George Hill, who was in the 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, only joined the Army this year and went to France for the first time in October. He was one of the best of sons and will be greatly missed by his widowed mother, with whom great sympathy is felt.

Lemsford parish in the Great War

97 men and 1 woman went to war

Read about the men and women of Lemsford who left the parish of Lemsford to serve their country The regiments – The battles - Those who did not return .

Memories and Letters

Read the letter to and from our servicemen, the letters to the waiting families from commanding officers informing them of their deaths

Lest we Forget

20 men from our Parish died in the Great War – Read Lemsford local History Groups tribute to those menabout-us.html

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