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Sapper James Chapman

496929 151st Field Company, Royal Engineers

Son of Mr Reuben & Mrs Charlotte Chapman
Husband of Anne M (nee Wickens)

Aged 41 Years

Died 23rd July 1918

Commemorated at Varennes Military Cemetery
Grave III. B.22

Born at Bedford, enlisted at Rushden.
Rushden Echo, August 2nd, 1918, transcribed by Greville Watson

Rushden’s Casualty List

We regret to report that Mrs J. Chapman, of 10, Park-road, Rushden, received unofficial news on Sunday morning of the death in action in France on July 23rd, of her husband, Sapper James Chapman, of the Royal Engineers.  The sad news is sent by Second Lieut. T. R. Hulton, who writes: “I deeply regret to have to inform you that your husband, No. 496929, Sapper Chapman, was killed this morning by a piece of shell striking him on the head.  His death was instantaneous, and he consequently suffered no pain.  The fatality occurred at 5.30 this morning (July 23rd).  He had only recently joined his company, but for the short time he has been in my section I have found him in all respects a most trustworthy, industrious, and skilled sapper, and also an excellent soldier.  He was liked by his comrades, and they deeply regret his loss.  The funeral will take place at 9.30 a.m. tomorrow, the 24th inst., and a Church of England chaplain will officiate.  Allow me to offer you my sincerest sympathy in this your great bereavement, and may it be a comfort to you that he has paid this great penalty in a great and praiseworthy cause.”  The late Sapper Chapman was 41 years of age, and joined the Colours two years ago last June.  Prior to enlistment he was employed by Mr Packwood, builder and contractor, Rushden.  Mrs Chapman has received the following letter from the Rev. W. F. Crosthwait, Chaplain of the –– R.W.F.:–  “It is with profound regret that I write to condone with you in your truly sad loss.  You have heard yesterday of your husband’s death while leading a working party up the line.  I laid him to rest in the military cemetery close by and everything will be done to keep his grave as you would wish it kept.  We out here fully realise the great share of anxiety and sorrow which you at home are bearing in this tragic war, and we feel very much for you.  May God Himself be a Comforter to you in your lonely hours.  There are times when even the sincerest human sympathy is too weak to help; at such times may He give you strength.  The lives have not been in vain, they are all contributions towards that reign of peace and goodwill among men for which Christ lived and died.  They have been promoted to a higher service with Him, and our union with those we love can never be broken.  Again, with deep sympathy, believe me, yours most truly, – W. F. Crosthwait, C.F.”

Rushden Echo, August 9th, 1918

Rushden’s Casualty List

Mrs Chapman, of 10, Park-road, Rushden, received official news on Tuesday that her husband, Sapper J. Chapman, of the Royal Engineers, was killed in action on July 24th.  Lord Milner, Secretary of State for War, in a circular letter, says: “The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of His Majesty and the Queen in your sorrow.  He whose loss you mourn died in the noblest of causes.  His country will be ever grateful to him for the sacrifice he has made for freedom and justice.”

Kettering Leader, 9th August 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Casualties

Sapper James Chapman, Royal Engineers, husband of Mrs. Chapman of 10, Park-road, Rushden, has been unofficially reported, by his officer, as killed in action in France on July 23rd, by a shell. Sapper Chapman, who was 41 years of age, was employed by Mr. Packwood, contractor, Rushden, and joined up in June 1915.

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