|The Rushden Echo Friday 1 February 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates
A Rushden Soldier's Death
Rifleman John T Copson Killed in his First Turn in the Trenches
It is with sincere regret that we report that Mr and Mrs S Walker, of 102 Park-road, Rushden have received unofficial news that their son-in-law, 40188, Rifleman John T Copson, of the King's Royal Rifles Corps, was killed by a sniper on January 14th.
The sad news is sent by Capt Laurence E James, who writes to the deceased soldier's widow, under date Jan. 21st, as follows: "I regret very much having to inform you of the death of your husband, Rifleman John Copson, No. 40188. He was sniped on January 14th, while performing his duties in the first line trench - which he always did with great devotion and willingness. He was buried in a spot very close by and a cross has been put on the spot to mark the grave. Assuring you of my deepest sympathy."
The late Rifleman Copson, who was 35 years of age, leaves a widow and two sisters, to mourn their loss. He joined the Colours on August 8th last year, and proceeded to the Western front on December 8th. He was killed during what was probably his first spell of duty in the trenches. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Messrs. Selwood and Co, boot manufacturers, Rushden, and for eleven years he was a member of the Rushden Church Lads' Brigade, having the rank of Sergt Major. He was also a member and regular attendant of St Mary's Church, Rushden, and at one time was a teacher in the Sunday School. Much sympathy is felt with the deceased soldier's widow and two sisters in the bereavement they have sustained.
On Sunday morning the Rushden Cadet Company, Church Lads' Brigade (affiliated KRR's) paraded with muffled and draped drum in honour of the memory of their late Co-Sergt-Major. Lieut S Bailey was in command. The company proceeded to St Mary's, and the Rector prefaced his sermon by referring to the death in action of their former Warrant Officer. Some 280 lads have passed through the company, the majority of whom owned their training to his tuition.
Lieut Bailey informed a reporter of the "Rushden Echo" that he keenly felt the loss of the late Rifleman Copson, as he was one of the most willing and efficient members of the company he had under his command. He was always ready and willing to do everything in his power on the interests of the corps.
At the conclusion of the service, the organist Mr J E Smith, played the "Dead March in Saul".
|The Wellingborough News Friday 1 February 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier Shot by Sniper
We regret to learn that Pte John T Copson, of the King's Royal Rifles Corps, son in law of Mr and Mrs S Walker, of Park-road, Rushden, was killed by a sniper in France on January 14th. He joined up about six months ago, and went to France in December. He was killed on his first day in the Trenches. Before joining up he worked at Mr G Selwood's factory, Rushden. He took great interest in the Church Lad's Brigade, in which he held the rank of Sergt-Major. He was also a member of St Mary's church choir. Both his parents are dead.