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Private William Joseph Edmunds

25156 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Gravestone on F.862Son of Mr Joseph & Mrs Minnie Edmunds

Aged 20 years

Died 15th July 1917

Commemorated at Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery
Grave III. F.21.
And in Rushden Cemetery
Grave number F.862

Born and enlisted at Rushden.
The Rushden Echo Friday 3 August 1917,transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Victim of the War - Pte William Joseph Edmunds Killed in Action

We regret to report that Mr and Mrs J Edmunds, of 8 Montague-street, Rushden, have received unofficial news that their eldest son, Pte William Joseph Edmunds, of the Northants Regiment, has been killed in action. The news is sent by Corpl A Durrant, who writes: "It grieves me very much to have to write to you in regard to your son, but I thought I would write to tell you I buried him and have marked his grave, so that I can erect a cross over him. When his body was brought to the infirmary there was nothing with him to identify who he was, so I just turned out his pockets, and then I found what regiment he belonged to. There are a lot of other letters and cards, so I will keep them, and if you want them I will pack them up in a parcel and send them to you. No doubt they will always be treasured by you. It is a very rough part of the line where he was killed, and no doubt some day I will tell you the exact spot. If by any chance you can get some flowers sent out I shall only be too willing to plant them on his grave. I trust this will be a little consolation to you in your great sorrow."

The late Pte Edmunds, who was 20 years of age, had been in France nearly a year. He enlisted about the beginning of May last year. Before joining up he was employed by Messrs. Eaton and Co, boot manufactures, Rushden. As a lad he passed through Sunday School of the Rushden Wellingborough-road Mission.

gravestoneThe Rushden Echo Friday 17 August 1917,transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Victim of the War - Pte William Joseph Edmunds Killed in Action

Mr and Mrs J Edmunds, of 8 Montague-street, Rushden, have now received further news concerning the death of their eldest son, Pte William Joseph Edmunds, Northants Regiment, aged 20, killed in action. Corpl A Durrant, East Surreys, now in hospital in Sheffield, writes to the deceased soldier's sister, Miss Clara Edmunds as follows: -

"No mistake, this world had got some trouble, and I can guess how your poor mother feels. On dear! I wonder when it will all end, this slaughtering. I think I was the last chap to see your brother. He was killed on the Vlamertinghe-Ypres road, and he had one of the best funerals - I saw to that. He was buried in the new Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, near Ypres. I have been in France about 29 months. I was nearly put out of action by the gas and bombs."

Corpl Durrant, when he was invalided home, brought with him the personal belongings of Pte Edmunds, and he has forwarded them to the deceased soldier's parents.

Lance-Corpl F S Adams, B Co., Northants Regt, writes to Miss Edmunds as follows:-

"I very much regret to inform you that your brother was killed on or about July 17th. Not being in the same company as myself, I did not know anything until I received a letter from home. I have made all possible inquiries, and, from the information I can gather, your brother was killed instantaneously by a shell, the pieces of which entered his chest. His comrades assure me he suffered no pain whatever. At the time of his death his company was separated from the rest of the Battalion, and told off for special fatigue work. I was talking to him before he went, and he was in very good spirits. It must have been the following night when he was sent up the line with a wagon of rations for the boys up there, and when he got about half-way a shell burst quite close, the consequence being that Bill caught some of it, and it proved fatal. I am very sorry this should have happened to Bill, as he was a very nice fellow, and well liked by the other fellows of his platoon, who wish me to extend to you and the rest of your family their deepest sympathy. Please accept the same from Arthur Coburn and myself. Perhaps you will be consoled by knowing that your brother died doing his duty for King and country. May God help you all to bear your terrible loss."

Mr and Mrs Edmunds and family desire to return their grateful thanks to the numerous friends who have extended sympathy to them in the heavy bereavement they have sustained.

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