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Raunds - Soldiers Notes WWI

Letters and Newsclips about Soldiers and their Experiences.
Reports in Date order

Rushden Argus, 6th November 1914, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds Trooper Wounded
Trooper F K Kilborn of the “A” Squadron of the Royal Horse Guards, who is now staying with his mother at Raunds during a fifteen days' furlough following convalescence, has seen some active service at the front, having been wounded in the fighting on the Belgian frontier. From the Aisne, they were drafted up to Belgium, where they were driven from the trenches by the German infantry. On leaving the trenches they were subjected to a heavy fire over open ground. Trooper Kilborn was first hit in the shoulder, and about ten yards further on was hit in the neck, and lay for half an hour until he managed to reach the ambulance when he was taken to the field hospital.

Rushden Echo, 9th April 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds Soldier a Prisoner of War
Private F Wood, son of Mrs A Wood of Wellington-road, Raunds, who had been missing for some time, is now reported to be a prisoner of war at Wittemberg, Germany. He was captured at La Bassee.

Rushden Argus, 23rd April 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Raunds Ambulance men
left to right:—Standing: Frank Spicer and Percy Watson Sitting: Sam Brayfield and Harry Hall

Raunds First-Aiders

This is a photograph of four Raunds St. John Ambulance men who recently passed their first-aid examination, and then joined the Wellingborough Centre and enlisted at once in the R.A.M.C. They are now training at the East Anglian Casualty Clearing Station at Ipswich, and doing well.

In forwarding us the photograph, Dr. Mackenzie, of Raunds, adds:—"They are very fine fellows, who are well up in their work, and glory in it."

Rushden Echo, 21st May 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

“Our Boys Fell Like Ninepins” — Raunds Soldier’s Experience
Writing to his sister, Miss Nunley, of Thorpe-street, Raunds, Pte W Nunley, of the Northampton Regiment, now at the 2nd Northern Hospital, Leeds, says:-

“I am now in Engalnd once again. I arrived here, at Leeds, on May 12th, and am getting on fine. It was on Sunday, about 8a.m., when we had the order to charge the German trenches. I had only got about 100 yards when I fell to the ground, being shot through the thigh. We were trying to take a village called Fromelles and, I can tell you, it was hell. Our boys tried hard to push forward, but fell like ninepins. I lay out in the open for about three hours, expecting every moment to be shot again, when two young men of the R.A.M.C. came and picked me up and carried me into our own trench. They fired on us just as we were getting in the trench, but without hitting us. I left the trenches about 12.30, and I think we had lost half our regiment then.

Rushden Echo, 9th June 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds Man – Joins the Australian Contingent
Mr. Ralph Pentelow, eldest son of the late Mr. James Pentelow, and Mrs. Pentelow, of Raunds Mill, who went out to Australia some time ago, has joined the Australian contingent and is now at the front.

Rushden Echo, 21st July 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds Soldier – Wounded in a Gas Attack
Mrs. Adams, of Chelveston-road, has received news that her son, Pte. A. Adams, Northants regt., aged 21, has been wounded. The news is sent by Lieut. A. W. Holland, who says that Pte. Adams was wounded in a gas attack.

Pte. Adams, who enlisted in February 1915, proceeded with a draft to the western front in August last. He is now in hospital at Nottingham.

29th July 1916 Gates brothers wounded
Pte A Kirk
Pte A Kirk
The Argus Newspaper
Rushden Echo Friday 27th September 1916, transcribed by Susan Manton

Raunds soldier - Wounded
Pte. Arthur Kirk (Raunds) Northants Regt. was wounded on September 30th in the back with a piece of shrapnel, during the fighting on the Somme. He is now in hospital in Dorset, getting well.

Pte Reg Farrer
Pte Reg Farrer
The Argus Newspaper
The Argus, 22nd December 1916

Only the picture was found in this edition of the Argus with the caption:
Pte. Reg Farrer, Coldstream Guards, of Raunds. Seriously wounded.

Rushden Echo, 29th December 1916

Raunds Soldier Wounded – Injured in the head
Pte. Reg Farrar, Coldstream Guards, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Farrar, Hill-street, Raunds, is in hospital at Cardiff suffering from a wound in the head inflicted by a sniper. Pte. Farrar, aged 22, celebrated three birthdays in France, having enlisted immediately on the outbreak of war. During his two years’ service on the western front he has twice been granted leave, the second occasion being so recently as last August.

Mr. and Mrs. Farrar have another son serving his King and country—Pte. Wm. Farrar, who went to the western front when but 16 years and four months of age. After a few weeks in France he was sent back to England and then drafted to Egypt, where he has been for the past two months.

Rushden Echo, 23rd March 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wounded - Pte. Leslie Knighton, Northants regt., of Grove-street, Raunds, is in hospital in Manchester, suffering from a wound in the leg.

Rushden Echo, 27th September 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

WoundedPte. F. W. Dix, Royal West Kents, of Raunds, the champion skater, is wounded in both hands. He is now in hospital in Bradford.

Wounded—Mr. and Mrs. C. Williamson, High-street, have received news that their son. Pte. F. J. Williamson, Royal West Surrey Regiment, was wounded on August 23rd, in the right leg and ankle (severe). He is now in Trueville Hospital, and making good progress.

Rushden Echo, 6th July 1917

Prisoner of WarPte. R. Mayes, of the Suffolks, reported missing now writes that he is a prisoner of war and is being well treated.

Rushden Argus, 3rd August 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds Soldier Posted “Missing”
Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Hunt, of Brooks-road, Raunds, have received the news that their son Pte. G. W. Hunt, of the Northants Regiment, was posted as “missing” after an engagement in France on the 10th day of July 1917. Pte. Hunt, who was 19 years of age, worked on Mr. A. E. Wingell’s farm previous to enlistment.

Rushden Echo, 3rd August 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Missing - Pte. G. W. Hunt, Northants Regt., son of Mr. G. H. Hunt, of Brook-street, has been missing since July 10th. He formerly worked on Mr. A. E. Wingell’s farm.

Rushden Echo, 10th August 1917, transcribed by Peter Brown

Wounded Pte Herbert Stubbs, Northants Regt, of Grove Street, Raunds, has been seriously wounded in the buttock and knee. Pte Stubbs went out on April 24th.

Northampton Mercury, 9th November 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wounded - Gunner Cecil Bailey, R.F.A. husband of Mrs. C. Bailey, of 9 Clare-street, Raunds, in hospital in Rouen with severe burns on the face and hands received on October 21; joined up on February 7 and went to the front on June 15.

The Rushden Echo, 14th December 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Nasty Accident Near Knotting
Gipsy Knocked Down by Motor Car Driven by a Raunds Officer
Driver Free from Blame
A nasty accident occurred on Tuesday morning about 11.15 near the Knotting Turn on Bedford-road, when a gipsy named William Wilson Lamb, aged about 70, was knocked down and severely injured about the head by a motor car driven by Second-Lieut. Albert Charles Masters, R.F.C., of Raunds, who is home on leave......... [to read more]

Rushden Echo, 11th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

War Prisoner—Mr. and Mrs. W. Agutter have received news from their son, George Agutter, company runner, Middlesex Regt., who was officially reported missing, saying that he is a prisoner of war in Germany, and is all right. He has got a bed and some blankets and has received a Red Cross parcel.

Rushden Echo, 12th April 1918, Transcribed by Kay Collins

Military Medals have been awarded to L/Cpl. (Acting Sgt) W Bettles and Sgt. J W Plant, Northants Regt., both of Raunds.

Rushden Echo, 12th April 1918, Transcribed by Kay Collins

WoundedPte. Peter York, of Newtown, Raunds, York Regt., is wounded in the upper lip and is now in hospital in South Wales.

Rushden Echo, 12th April 1918, Transcribed by Kay Collins

WoundedPte. Ralph W Cox, Northants regt., son of Mr and Mrs H Cox, 6 Hill-street, Raunds, admitted to hospital at Rouen on March 24 with a mild shrapnel wound in the neck.

Rushden Echo, 12th April 1918, Transcribed by Kay Collins

GassedPte. Albert Webb, M.G.C., of Chelveston-road, has been gassed. His brother, Pte. Geo. Webb, died recently from the effects of gas.

Rushden Echo, 26th April 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Mrs E Richardson, Brooks-road, has received information that her husband, Pte. Ernest Richardson, Surrey Regiment, was killed in action between March 21st and 27th. He leaves six young children, the eldest of whom is a cripple. Deceased’s parents have now lost two sons in the war, and have three more sons in the Forces.

The Rushden Echo Friday 3rd May 1918, transcribed by Susan Manton

Prisoner of war - Mrs. H. Stubbs, of 12 Beech Hill Raunds, has received a postcard from her husband, Pte. Harry Stubbs, Royal Sussex Regiment, dated March 29th last, saying he is a prisoner of war in Germany, and is quite well.

The Rushden Echo Friday 10th May 1918, transcribed by Susan Manton


Pte. A. W. Hazeldine M.G.C. is in hospital in Rouen, suffering from a sprained ankle.

Pte. A. H. Clarke, Northants Regiment, twice wounded, is now a prisoner.

Pte. W. H. Groome, Northumberland Regiment, has been wounded.

Pte. Arthur Hubert Clark, Northants Regiment, is missing.

Rushden Echo, 2nd August 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

MissingPte. Ralph Cox, of the Northamptons, aged 20, son of Mr. H. Cox, of 6, Hill-street, is reported missing from July 22nd. He had been in France 18 months.

Rushden Echo, 23rd August 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

RaundsSergt. Harold Lee, formerly headmaster of the Council School, arrived home on leave from France in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He was conveyed from Wellingboro’ M.R. station by one of the motor despatch riders.

Rushden Echo, 13th September 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

War PrisonerPte. Arthur Higby, who was taken prisoner with a large number of other men of the Northants Regt. at the Battle of the Dunes, writes that he is quite well, and is working on a dairy farm at Lechfeld, Bavaria. He was a member of the Temperance Band.

Rushden Echo, 13th September 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wounded Seven TimesPte. James Arthur Cuthbert, Northants Regt. aged 30, second son of Mr. Morris Cuthbert, of High-street, Raunds, has been wounded on seven occasions. He is now in camp at Shoreham, and has volunteered again for the front. He has five brothers serving.

Brothers Wounded—Mr. Thomas Walker of Marshalls-road, Raunds, has received news that his fourth son, Pte. Frank Walker, R.F., is suffering from shrapnel wounds in his left thigh and right hand, and is now in hospital at Leytonstone. Mr. Walker’s third son, Pte. Richard Walker, is a prisoner of war in Germany, wounded and in hospital.

Rushden Echo and Argus, 4th October 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Alive and Well
- Mrs G Stock, Red-row, received a letter on Saturday saying her husband was a prisoner of war, and well.

GUNSHOT WOUND - Mrs. F. Reynolds, High-street has revived news that her husband, Gunner Fred Reynolds, R.G.A., has been slightly wounded by gunshot in the back.

Exchanged Prisoner - Gunner George Cunnington, R.G.A., eldest son of Mr William Cunnington, Hill-street, Raunds, was one of the exchanged prisoners of war who landed at Boston. Gunner Cunnington, who was taken prisoner on May 27th, reached his 21st birthday last month, and had seen two years’ service.

Gassed – Mr and Mrs C Abbott, of Kingswood-place, have received news that their son, Lance-Corpl. Ralph W Abbott, aged 19, was gassed on or about Sept 6th. He was in three different hospitals in France before being sent to Congleton Red Cross Hospital, Cheshire. Before joining up he worked for Messrs J Horrel and Son.

War Prisoner – Mr and Mrs H Cox, of 6 Hill-street, whose son, Pte Ralph W Cox has been missing from his unit, received on Saturday, a letter, dated July 23rd, stating that he was wounded and taken prisoner on July 2nd. He is now in hospital with four more English prisoners. The wound is not serious and he says that he is being well treated.

WOUNDEDPte. Horace Hyde, of the Royal Fusiliers, son of Mrs. Haynes, 9, Primrose-hill, Raunds, has been severely wounded in both legs. He lay for three days in a shell-hole after being wounded before he was found. Pte. Hyde is only 18½ years of age, and has been a member of the Raunds Temperance Band he was eleven years old. Previous to joining the Colours he was employed by the Regulation Boot Co., Ltd. Mrs. Haynes has another son and her husband serving.

Rushden Echo, 27th December 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Among the interesting souvenirs that were brought back by a returned prisoner of war, 1st A M Holmes, of Raunds, is an illustrated pamphlet which the French had published to send over into Germany by balloon. It depicts the German infantry being first cheered on their way to the front by one German profiteer, and then driven by a whip into the jaws of death by another wealthy magnate.

Rushden Echo, 27th December 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Germany’s Inferior Airmen - Raunds Soldier-Prisoner’s Statement
Hun’s Brutal Neglect of Wounds – Fiery Liquids Applied to Injuries
Pte. Hugh Clarke, Northants Regiment, of Raunds, has arrived home from Alsace-Lorraine, where he has been for several months in German hands. When he was captured he was wounded in several places about the legs, but the Germans made little attempt to dress his wounds. The paper bandages with which the wounds were bound up were not removed for six days, and all the time the wounds were getting in a dangerous state.

To prevent gangrene the German doctor poured into the wounds some iodine in the neat state. It is needless to remark that the pain resulting from this drastic but delayed measure was excruciating almost beyond endurance. Another fiery liquid was applied to other parts of his body.

The only satisfactory result is that the leg was saved, but the agony was needless if attention had been paid sooner. A poor fellow who was taken at the same time as Pte. Clarke and wounded similarly, had to lie in a barn for nine days without any medical attention whatever, and when the German doctor did at last remove the bandages, gangrene was so far advanced that the leg had to be at once amputated.

Pte. Clarke never completely recovered from his wounds while he was in enemy hands, but he had to work as hard as the rest, and had no more food. Being close to the German lines, he could not write to his friends nor receive parcels from them. He had to work at a German aerodrome, assisting with such heavy work as lifting huge engines, salving crashed ‘planes, and so on. He observed that the machines were of a good type, but there seemed something lacking about the pilots. Either the training was too superficial or the airmen themselves did not possess the necessary pluck and initiative. Pte. Clarke could see a very great difference between the splendid fighting spirit of our own airmen and the absence of the offensive attitude in the German pilots.

For some time before the Armistice, Pte. Clarke was put to work in a sugar factory. His hunger being so keen, he ate large quantities of sugar one day, with the consequence that he became ill, and he still feels the effect of the starvation. He lost weight until he was down to 7 stone, whereas his normal weight is 14 stone (which he has all but recovered). He says all our prisoners were little better in appearance than living skeletons.

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