|The Rushden Echo Friday 21 December 1917,transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden's Sad War Toll - Death of Gunner T Drage - Fatal Wounds
We are very sorry to learn that Mrs T Drage, of 84, High-street, Rushden, has received unofficial news of the death in action on December 7th in France of her husband, Gunner T Drage, of the R.G.A. There are particularly sad circumstances attending this soldier's death, as he was expected home on leave this week; moreover, the very day on which the letter arrived announcing his death was the second anniversary of the birth of his little son. Much sympathy, therefore, is felt with the widow in her grievous loss.
The late Gunner Drage, who was the son-in-law of Mr G H Clarke, of the Cottage, Rushden, had been in France just over 15 months, having joined the Colours in March, 1915. He formerly worked for the Advance Boot Company, Rushden. The news of his death is sent by a comrade who buried him, and who says that Gunner Drage had taken shelter from the enemy's bombardment in the cook-house, which, however, was struck by a shell, with the result that Gunner Drage was severely wounded in the thigh. His comrades who were with him did everything possible in the way of first aid, but by the time the doctor arrived, he had lost so much blood that he was beyond human aid, and died soon afterwards. The letter sent by the late Gunner Drage's comrades is as follows:-
"It is with great grief I write to tell you that your dear husband was killed on Dec. 7th. He was waiting in my kitchen for the shelling to pass over, and then to take cover in the Mess, when a piece of shell struck him in the thigh and went into his body.
"Poor boy, he got up and tried to walk, but collapsed. I and the dispatch rider did all we possibly could for him, bandaging him and stopping the flow of blood. The doctor came and said that he was past all human aid. All who were near did everything possible for him. He is buried in Hermies Cemetery, and will have a cross put up in his memory. He should have gone with Lieut Chapman, but as leave was so near he said that he would stay behind. He always spoke will of his dear wife and boy. It upset me very much, as he was always my good help in the kitchen. A true man, and I cannot speak too highly of him. May God the Heavenly Father comfort you in your loneliness, and I trust that your love for Him will help your to bear your cross. - Believe me, your friend, R H Morris."