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Rifleman Stephen West
7944 12th Battalion London Regiment (The Rangers)

Pte. Stephen J West
Pte. Stephen J West
Son of Mr and Mrs Jonathan West

Aged 22 years

Died 9th September 1916

Commemorated at La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie
Grave II. C. 55.

Rushden Echo Friday 29th September 1916, transcribed by Susan Manton

Wymington Man Killed - His brother wounded
A Patriotic Family - Six sons with the Colours

In the “Rushden Echo” for August 25th we recorded the fact that Mr. Jonathan West, of Wymington, had six sons serving the King and country. We mentioned that Mr. West had ten sons in all, seven of them being of military age. One of these, the only married son is a railway porter at St. Helens and the railway company are keeping him back, otherwise he too, like his six brothers of military age, would have been with the Colours.

We have now to record the sad fact that one of the soldier sons of Mr. West has fallen in action and that another son is reported wounded.

Pte. Stephen J. West, 5944 – London Rangers, who joined the Northamptons soon after the war was declared and was subsequently transferred to the London Rangers, was, we regret to say, seriously wounded on September 9th in the great advance on the Somme Front. On Saturday last Mr. West received sad news that his son Stephen had died of wounds and the intimation was accompanied by a message of condolence from the King and Queen. The late Pte. Stephen West was 24 years of age, and before enlisting he worked at the boot factory of Messrs. Lawrence Bros., John Street Rushden. Deceased had been in France about nine months when he was fatally wounded. On September 2nd a letter was received from the deceased soldier to say that he had had a very narrow escape as he was leaving the trenches, a piece of shrapnel striking his knapsack and becoming embedded therein. While he was in training at Gillingham he had a serious illness, suffering from pleurisy and pneumonia. Mr. West has received a message to the effect that his son has been buried in France.

Pte. Edward West, 10377 D. Coy, Batt. Queen’s Regiment, who first joined the Northamptons and was afterwards transferred to the Queen’s has, we are sorry to report, been wounded. A field card has been received from him to the effect, but he does not say whether the wound is serious of not. A letter has been received from a chaplain informing Mr. West that his son had been wounded, adding that the wound was not a very serious one but the Rev. gentleman did not say which son had been injured. It is evident, however, now that the victim was Edward, who, by the way, celebrated his 19th birthday on September 8th last.

Yesterday Mr. West received a letter from his son Edward, written in a very cheerful vein, and stating that he was suffering from a bullet wound in the leg, adding that it was not serious and nothing to worry about. He is still in France.

Driver Charles E. West, 331858 61st O Battery 15th Brigade, Mr. West’s eldest son, arrived in England last Sunday morning from Canada and is now stationed in Surrey.

The late First Class Stoker Harry Whiting of Rushden, who was drowned at sea, was the husband of Mr. West’s only daughter.

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