|The Rushden Echo Friday 8 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Family's sorrow - Private Arthur Helsdown - Succumbs to Wounds - Many Bereavements
Official news has been received by Mr and Mrs H Helsdown, of 37, Sartoris-road, Rushden, that their only son, 43515, Pte Arthur Helsdown, of the Northants Regt, has died of wounds received in France on May 30th. According to the official intimation received, the late Pte Helsdown's injuries consisted of gunshot wounds to both legs.
The deceased soldier, who was but 19 years of age, enlisted voluntarily immediately at the outbreak of war, when but 16 years of age, and at the time of his death he had been in France since August, 1916. He was employed before enlistment by Mr B Ladds, boot manufacturers, Rushden.
The first news of their son's death that Mr and Mrs Helsdown received was sent by Capt. the Rev J O Murray, C.F., who wrote from No. 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, under date May 30th as follows:-
"I deeply regret to have to inform you that your son, Pte A W Helsdown, died this morning here, a few hours after admission. He was suffering from severe shell wounds in the abdomen, and from the first his case was practically hopeless. Everything possible, however, was done for him, and he wanted for no care or attention. At first he was conscious, and gave me your address, with a request to write to you. Afterwards he became unconscious, and so was mercifully spared any further suffering. I prayed for him, and I think he knew that his end was near, and accepted it with brave and quiet resignation. He has fought a good fight and is at rest. He will be buried in a quiet cemetery near here, with all due respect and military honours, and I will send you the number of his grave. I pray that God may comfort and sustain you in your great trouble."
Much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Helsdown, as they have suffered many family bereavements. It is but ten months ago that they lost their youngest daughter, Eva, who passed away at the age of 14, and previously they had suffered a double bereavement, two other children dying in one week - one aged seven years and the other one year.