|The Rushden Echo Friday 2 March 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
A Rushden Soldier Missing - The latest British advance - Private Walter Laughton - A Brother Seriously Ill
News has been received from unofficial quarters that Pte Walter Laughton, Northants Regt., whose home is 213 Wellingborough-road, Rushden, is missing. The news is contained in a letter from a man in the same regiment, named Norris, whose home is in Wollaston-road, Irchester. This comrade says that there were 25 of them, including Pte Laughton, engaged on machine gun work in the British Advance on the Ancre, which is now still in progress. These 25 were "dropped on" by the enemy, according to the writer of the letter, but whether this means attacked by the German soldiers or hit by a shell we cannot tell. At any rate, all but nine of the 25 were either killed or wounded, except two - Private W Laughton and another chap. It may be that Pte Laughton was taken prisoner, or he may have strayed into another British regiment that probably came up, but nothing definite is yet known, and Pte Laughton's sister, Mrs Cumberpatch, of 213 Wellingborough-road, Rushden, would be gratified to have any further particulars regarding her missing brother.
News was also received this week that a brother of the missing soldier, Pte William Laughton, Beds. Regt., is seriously ill and in hospital in France, but no further particulars are known, and the relatives and friends are naturally very anxious as to their welfare.
It might be mentioned that Pte Walter Laughton, the missing soldier, wrote a letter home the night before the battle, saying that he was going into the action next day, and this letter was received last Saturday, nine days after it was written.