Rushden Echo, 4th May 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
ObituaryMuch sympathy is felt throughout the borough with Mrs Thomas Randall, of 59, High-street, who has suffered a double bereavement during the past eleven weeks. On February 6th she lost her husband, the late Mr Thomas Randall, who passed away suddenly following a stroke. On Monday evening this week Mrs Randall’s second son, Leading Seaman Ernest John Coles, succumbed to pleurisy and pneumonia after but a week’s illness. The deceased sailor, who was 27 years of age, came home on leave on April 20th, and then seemed apparently in his usual health, except for a cough. Last Monday week, during the night, he complained of a severe pain in his side, and on Tuesday he was attended by the doctor, who diagnosed pleurisy, and pneumonia. On Friday last he became very much worse, and on Sunday evening he lost consciousness and never regained it, passing peacefully away on Monday evening. He joined the Navy when but 16 years of age, and had a 12 years’ creditable record, having received well-deserved promotions. He attained to the position of leading-seaman this year. Mrs Randall’s eldest son, Pte Herbert Edward Coles, is in the East Surrey Regt. and left for France but a week ago.
The Funeral of the late Leading Seaman E J Coles, whose death is recorded in this issue, took place yesterday at the Cemetery, the Rev H K Fry officiating. The first portion of the obsequies was conducted in the parish church, whither the cortege first proceeded. A large number of sympathisers assembled at the graveside, including the wounded soldiers with the matron and staff from the Auxiliary Hospital. Some of the wounded soldiers acted as bearers, and another sounded the Last post at the graveside. The coffin which was draped with the Union Jack, also bore the deceased sailor’s cap, and was of plain elm with brass fittings and bore the inscription:-
Ernest John Coles, L.S.
Died April 30th 1917
Aged 27 years.
The mourners comprised: Mrs T Randall (mother), Mr Percy Coles (brother), Mrs H E Coles (sister-in-law), Wellingborough; Mr W Randall (uncle), Higham Ferrers; Mrs G Wright (aunt), Wellingborough; Mr and Mrs F Randall (uncle and aunt), Higham; Mr Horace Baker and Mr Sidney Baker (cousins), Rushden; Mrs Martin (friend), Higham Ferrers; Private John Martin, Royal Marines; Petty Officer Douglas Barnes. Wreaths were placed on the grave as follows:-
In loving memory of a dear son, from his sorrowing Mother and Brother.
To dear Jack, in affectionate remembrance, from his loving Brother Ted, in France, and Sister Nell.
A beautiful floral anchor, with deepest sympathy, from Captain and Ship’s Crew of H.M.S. Assistance.
In affectionate remembrance of dear Jack, from Edith, Fred and Will.
To dear Jack, from Howard and Eric.
With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs H Martin.
The undertaker was Mr F Parker. Yesterday morning Mrs Randall received the following telegram from the Royal Marines of H.M.S. Assistance: “Please accept from Royal Marines, H.M.S. Assistance, their heartfelt sympathy concerning the death of your son, who was loved and will be sadly missed by us all”.