|Rushden Echo, 21 April 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins
Drummer E Fletton Killed in Action
We regret to report that news has been received from unofficial sources that Drummer E Fletton, of the Northants Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Fletton, 6 Co-operative-terrace, Higham Ferrers, has been killed in action.
The late Drummer Fletton enlisted on September 5, 1914, and went to the front in July 1915. Since then he has fought in many battles, but up to the time of his death had come through without a scratch.
Although he has not been home on leave since he went to the western front, he seemed, by his letters, to be very contented and happy, although in his recent letters he expressed a desire to pay a short visit home to his parents and relatives.
Prior to his enlistment he worked at Mr A E Wright’s factory. As a boy he passed through the Wesleyan Sunday School and played for the Sunday School Football Club. He was also for sometime a bugler in the Wesleyan Boys’ Brigade.
He celebrated his coming of age in the trenches on March 29th, although his birthday was on the day previous.
The sad news was sent by Drummer Harry Cumberpatch in a letter to his sister, Miss E Smith, who was engaged to the late Drummer Fletton.
Confirmation of the sad news was received on Wednesday, when Mr and Mrs Fletton had a letter from their son’s commanding officer, Captain H Podmore. Writing under date April 15th he says:
“I find it very hard to write and tell you that your son Drummer E Fletton is killed. He was such a splendid lad, and so good a soldier and so popular with me, that I dare not think how you will be able to bear so heavy a loss. But no man ever fell under more gallant circumstances. The Germans made a sudden attack on a post where he, with another man, was at the end of a gap looking over a crater. The other man was instantaneously killed. Your son was very badly wounded and might well have surrendered, but without thinking of his own pain, and anxious only to warn his companions, he immediately ran back and gave the alarm. He then proceeded along the trench to get his wounds dressed but had the misfortune to be hit almost immediately by a shell, and killed instantaneously. I am sending his name in for gallant conduct, and I hope that some recognition may be given to him even after his death.
“I hope that the knowledge of how proud we all feel here to have had a man so forgetful of pain and danger among is may be of assistance to you in your grief. Never did any man more truly give his life for his comrades. But although one could not wish a more glorious end for any man, still we shall feel more and more as time goes on the loss of his smart, clean presence and his cheery temper. He must, I think, always have been a son to be proud of. He was certainly a soldier to be proud of, and a credit to any company. Now he has justified that pride to the full, and performed the noblest action any man can.
“The commanding officer and adjutant and myself with several of his own platoon were present at his funeral yesterday. He lies in a soldiers’ cemetery behind the firing line with a white wooden cross above him giving his name and regiment. Next time we go up to the trenches (in a few days’ time) his fiends will put a wreath of wild flowers on the grave. Please let me know if I can tell you anything else. If you have time presently I should very much value a photograph of your son.”