|Rushden Echo, 18th May 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Railway Porter Killed In Action in France
Private J C Boddington Makes the Supreme Sacrifice
We regret to report that Mr and Mrs J Boddington, of Newton Bromshold, have received official news of the death in action on April 19th of their son, 12783 Pte John Cecil Boddington, of the Northants Regt.
The first news Mr and Mrs Boddington received was contained in a letter from Corpl. Geo. Baker, who wrote under date April 20th, as follows: “Dear Miss Boddington.As one of your brother’s best chums, I thought it my duty to write and let you know that he was killed when coming out of the trenches on the night of the 19th, and to offer you and his parents my deepest sympathy. I must tell you he was well liked by all of his comrades for his cheery disposition. I will find out the full particulars of his death and so on in a day or two’s time. I hope that you will bear your heavy loss bravely.”
Mr and Mrs Boddington wrote to another soldier of the Northamptons, viz., Pte W Miller, asking for further particulars and in reply they received the following letter:- “I am sorry to inform you that I cannot give you full particulars of your son’s death as he was in a different company from me. I have made inquiries in his company, and have found that they were being relieved when this sad affair happened. They were passing through an old ruined village when a shell burst, and pieces of shell and bricks unfortunately fell amongst your son and several of his chums. Knowing him so well it came as a great shock to me, as I used to see him so often. Cecil was a good soldier and liked by all the company, and it may console you to know that he died instantly, and therefore did not suffer any pain. Assuring you of my deepest sympathy.”
The late Pte Boddington, who was 27 years of age, enlisted immediately on the outbreak of war. He went to France in March 1915, and although he had received no wounds up to the time of his death, he came home on sick leave last year with a poisoned foot. He returned to France about the middle of May.
Prior to enlistment he was in the employ of the Midland Railway Company as goods porter at the Rushden Depot.
Mr and Mrs Boddington desire to express their sincere thanks to the many kind friends who have expressed sympathy with them in their great bereavement.