|Rushden Echo, 1st January 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Brothers German Trenches Captured
Private J Freeman (Higham Ferrers), of the 1st Bedfordshires, writing on Dec. 25th from hospital at La Havre, France, to his mother, Mrs J Freeman, of Higham Ferrers, says: “My throat does not seem to get any better. We have been having plenty of rain out here just lately. I should like to have been home for Christmas, but i expect I shall have to be satisfied where I am.”
His brother, Private Bernard Freeman, of the 1st Northamptons, writes home under date Dec 25th: “I am writing to let you know I received the ‘Rushden Echo’ all right, and it has a good round. Excuse my writing as it is getting very dark where we are, and it is Christmas night. Private Magee is on the machine gun with me. The first night we were in the trenches we made a brilliant charge and captured some trenches from the Germans. I hope you had a good Christmas. I had bully beef for my dinner. I am sending Queen Mary’s postcard home to you: I cannot carry it about with me, as it would get smashed.”
|Rushden Echo, 21st May 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier in Hospital Wounded
Pte P Patenall (Higham Ferrers), son of Mr and Mrs William Patenall, of Higham Ferrers, has been unofficially reported wounded. In a letter to his sister, however, he makes no mention of having received any wounds, but says he is in hospital. He writes:-
“No doubt you will be surprised to hear I am in hospital somewhere in Frances. I have been in twice now. The first time I went in was May 8th and I came out on the 13th. I had something the matter with my hand. It got better. Now I am in again. You need not worry as i quite think I shall be better in a few weeks’ time; well I hope so. I am not going to say anything about the war but I shall be very glad when it is all over. I have been with a lot of chaps from Rushden, some of them have got killed and wounded, I am sorry to say. I am with a Rushden chap in hospital. We are having some nice weather out here.
|Rushden Echo, 21 April 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins
Promotion for Higham Ferrers Soldier - The Value of the Boys’ Brigade
We are pleased to report that William Webb (Higham Ferrers), of the Northants Regiment, who is with the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces, son of Mr and Mrs Joseph Webb, of 11 Grove-street, Higham Ferrers, has just been promoted Lance-Corporal. He enlisted on May 8th 1915, and went abroad about six weeks before Christmas.
Prior to his enlistment he was employed by the Higham Co-operative Boot and Shoe Productive Society, of which he was a member. The preliminary training which he received in the Higham Wesleyan Boys’ Brigade has been of value to him in his military career.
In a recent letter to his parents he writes: “I dare say you will be surprised to hear that I have been promoted Lance-Corporal. I was promoted yesterday. I dare say you will be pleased to hear such news. I am quite all right. I have never felt so well in all my life as I feel now. The time will not be long when we shall all be back home again, so cheer up, and keep on smiling. It is hotter every day out here. I thank you very much for the ‘Rushden Echo’-it is so nice to read a bit of home here.”
The Rushden Echo, 2nd February 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Pte J A S Smith & Pte C W Butlin
Higham Ferrers Soldiers - Posted as Missing - Comrades in Arms
News has been received from official sources that two Higham Ferrers soldiersPte C W Butlin, 14339 Queen’s Royal West Surreys, and Pte J A S Smith, 14336 of the same regimenthave been posted as missing. They were comrades and both served in the 16th Platoon, D Company.
Their wivesMrs C W Butlin, of 19 Milton-st, Higham Ferrers, and Mrs J A S Smith, of 12 Thrift-streetwould be very thankful to anyone who can send them information. Each received as letter from her husband on Nov 13th, since which date no communication of any kind has come to hand. Both men are posted as missing from Nov 18th.
|Rushden Echo, 9th March 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier Wounded Private George Hurst An Old Territorial
A field-card was received yesterday morning by Mr and Mrs G Hurst, of Lancaster-street, Higham Ferrers, to the effect that their son, Pte George Hurst, Northants (Territorial) Regiment, has been wounded in action in France.
Pte Hurst has been a Territorial some years, and was called up for service on the outbreak of war. He went through the Dardanelles campaign practically without a scratch, and after the withdrawal there he came home with his regiment, and was sent out to France. He has three brothers in the Army, one serving in France, one in Mesopotamia, and the other being in training at home.
|Rushden Echo, 16th March 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier’s Pluck Saves a Rushden Comrade by Carrying Him 900 Yards Though Himself Wounded
Mrs Clark of 40, Pemberton-street, Rushden, received news last Saturday that her son Lance-Corpl. E Clark, of the Northants Regt., has been wounded for the third time. The information was sent by the soldier himself, who briefly wrote that he had been wounded and had arrived in England.
In a subsequent letter to his mother Lance-Corpl. Clark reveals the fact that he probably owes his life to a Higham Ferrers comrade, and , anxious that this fact shall be known to as wide a circle of the public as is possible, he asks that the information shall be published in the “Rushden Echo”. He writes: “I am pleased to say I feel good, considering that I have got about 11 wounds, but I am better off here than in France. I knew I should get one. We went over the top on the 3rd. And I got to the Hun’s front line before I was wounded. The man who saved my life is a chap named Hurst, from Higham: you know his mother. Although he was wounded in the neck he carried me about 900 yards to the aid post, and I should like it to be put in the “Rushden Echo.” Before I met him I had been crawling about the ground, with shells dropping like rain, and it is no doubt I should have died through loss of blood.”
Lance-Corpl. Clark evidently refers to Pte. George Hurst (son of Mr and Mrs G Hurst, of Lancaster-street, Higham Ferrers) whom we reported wounded in our last issue.
Mr and Mrs Hurst will have reason to be proud of their gallant son’s self-forgetfulness and bravery in risking his own life for the purpose of saving Lance-Corpl. Clark, and we are entirely in agreement with lance-Corpl. Clark’s desire that the matter shall be brought to the public notice, as apparently no reference has been made to the incident by the hero himself.
|The Rushden Echo, 20th April 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier A Prisoner of War - Rifleman W F Bullworthy
A postcard has been received by Mr John Bullworthy, of 2, Bedford-row, Higham Ferrers, from his brother, Pte William Fredk. Bullworthy, 13301 King’s Royal Rifles, to the effect that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. He says he is going on well, but the weather there is not nice, there being plenty of snow.
Pte. Bullworthy went out to France on February 19th 1916, and was taken prisoner on July 7th.
|Rushden Echo, Friday 28th September 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Driver Reg Brown, R.F.A., son of Mr T Brown, of Vine Hill Farm, has been invalided to England, and arrived at Southampton Hospital on Saturday last, wounded and suffering from enteric fever. While in action on the Ypres front, Pte Brown was wounded in the knee, and he subsequently contracted enteric. Two years ago he joined the Royal Veterinary Corps, and after twelve months’ service in that regiment he was transferred to the Royal Field Artillery. He went out to France at the beginning of May this year. He is now making good progress towards recovery, the critical stage of the fever having been passed.
|Rushden Echo, Friday 26th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
WoundedPte. Alfred Coles, of the Manchester Regt., son of Mr and Mrs T Coles, of High-street, Higham Ferrers, has been wounded a second time, and he is also suffering from frostbitten feet. He is now in hospital in Manchester. Pte. Coles was formerly in the employ of Mr R A Wheeler, butcher, of Rushden.
|Rushden Echo, 16th November 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier Wounded for the Second Time Corporal T Breary
Mrs T Breary, of 9 Warmonds-hill, Higham Ferrers, has received official news that her husband, Corporal Tom Breary, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, was wounded in the left arm on November 4th, and that he is now in hospital at Sheffield.
This is the second time Corpl. Breary has received injury, having been previously blown up by a shell, sustaining severe shell shock. Corpl. Breary was called up as a reservist on the outbreak of war.
|Rushden Echo & Argus, 19th April 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
Higham Ferrers Soldier in The Great German Offensive
Pte. Joseph Charles, of Higham Ferrers, reported in last week’s “Rushden Echo” to have been recommended for a medal, sends an interesting letter to his sister, Mrs. H. Denton, of Warmond’s Hill, Higham Ferrers, in the course of which he says:-
“Just a few lines to let you know I am all right. I think the Lord must have been looking after me ever since this bloody battle has been on, for it has been terrible. We have done very good workthe 24th Division. Our C.O. deserves the V.C. He has been a ‘brick’. I might say I have done my very best. I have killed a few Huns, so I have revenged my two lost brothers. I was almost captured twice, but I have got through up to the present. I have simply been smothered in our brave lads’ blood, through dressing their wounds. But the Hun has suffered a lot more than us; in fact, at least four times more.
“The Northamptons have upheld their good name. I am sorry to say this battle has put a stop to leave for a little while, or I should have been home by now, but, still, I have the leave to come, so cheer up, and we shall soon all be in Blighty again, for I think this affair will just about smash the Germans.”
|Rushden Echo, 10th May 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
Gunner F G Felce, R.G.A., of the ‘Rushden Echo’ staff, and Mayor’s Sergeant, has been promoted bombardier.
Prisoner - After six weeks silence, Mr J W Hartwell, has heard from his son, Pte Stanley Hartwell, Lancashire Fusiliers, formerly of the Northants yeomanry. Pte Hartwell is now a prisoner of war in Germany, and happily is quite well. The German card which he sends is dated March 23rd, so that he must have been taken prisoner at the opening of the offensive.
|Rushden Echo, 19th July 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
The Military Medal has been awarded to Corpl. R. C. Horner, 9132, Northants regt., of Higham Ferrers.
Mrs. Turnock, of 23, Corporation-terrace, Higham Ferrers, wishes to thank all kind friends for the sympathy shown to her in the loss of her husband, Pte. T. Turnock, who died in France of pneumonia.
War prisonerMr. and Mrs. J. Tate, of Westfield-terrace, have received official news that their son, Pte. Arthur Thomas Tate, M.G.C., previously reported missing, is a prisoner of war in Germany. They have also received a letter from their son, dated May 12th, from Limburg, as follows: “Just a few lines to let you know that I am all right and in the best of health. I should just love a parcel and a packet of Woodbines, and I hope you will send them as soon as possible, as I dare say you know I am a prisoner of war. You can send a nice novel, something interesting to read. I have got a nice little job at boot repairing. Don’t forget a piece of soap and some biscuits, please.” Mr. and Mrs. Tate have another son, serving in Egypt.
|Rushden Echo, 1st November 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
WoundedMrs Pettit, of 10, Commercial-street, Higham Ferrers, has received a card stating that her husband, Lance-Corpl. Arthur Pettit, Middlesex Regt., is in the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham. A comrade write that Lance-Corpl. Pettit is suffering from a wound in the right arm. Lance-Corpl. Pettit joined the Colours on June 1st 1916 and went to France on September 14th the same year. He was, prior to enlistment, employed by Messrs Chas Parker, Ltd., boot manufacturers, Higham Ferrers.
|Rushden Echo, 1st November 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
Military MedalMrs Thompson, of 3, Spring-gardens, has received a letter from her husband, Sergt. John Burrows Thompson, Northants Regt. (Pioneers), stating he has been awarded the Military Medal, for gallantry on the field. Sergt. Thompson who was formerly a member of the Higham Ferrers Fire Brigade, joined the Colours in May 1915, and went to France in March 1916. He is already a holder of a bronze medal for skill in musketry.
|Rushden Echo, 10th January 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins
Five Days Without FoodPrivate Fred Pettit, son of Mr W Pettit, Mayor’s Sergt., of 31 Milton-street, has returned home after nine months in the hands of the Germans. Most of the time he was working behind the lines, at top pressure, on starvation diet. He was once kept without food for five days, no parcels being allowed to men working under those conditions. The work the British prisoners were employed on by day was, he says, constantly destroyed or damaged by bombs from British aeroplanes by night. When our men showed their natural glee over the destruction they were clubbed with rifles and kicked by the brutal German guards. Pte Pettit was suffering from a bad attack of dysentery for some time before his release, the result of starvation. We are pleased to say he is now recovering.