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Private Robert Mackness

40747 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Pte R MacknessSon of Mr William and Mrs Keziah Mackness
Husband of Lydia Mackness

Aged 33 years

Died 13th April 1917

Commemorated at St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
Grave O.VIII. H.2.

Born and enlisted at Rushden.
The Rushden Echo Friday 20 April 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Dead - Private RW Mackness - Only a Few Weeks in the Army - Chaplain's Sympathy

Official news was received by Mrs Mackness, of 28 Oakley-road, that her husband, Pte Robert William Mackness, 40747, - Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died in Rouen hospital, France on April 13th, death being due to inflammation of the kidneys.

Pte Mackness was called to the Forces last November, and went out to France, after only a few weeks' training, at the beginning of February. He formerly worked at Messrs. B Denton's shoe factory, Rushden. Aged 33 years, he leaves a widow and two children.

Sympathetic letters have been received from the matron of the hospital in Rouen and the military chaplain. The latter writes:

"Dear Mrs Mackness, I deeply regret that your dear husband passed away yesterday evening. He was admitted into this hospital suffering from nephritis. I saw him each day and had until a few days ago, nice talks with him. He got so ill that he partly lost his speech. He spoke of you and the children a lot and showed me your photograph. He had it placed in his locker where he could see it as he lay in bed. Before he died he said 'God bless my wife and children'. His end was peace. We talked about our Saviour a lot, and he died a true believer in Christ. I would have written to you about his condition, but I had great hopes of his recovery. You have my deepest sympathy. I do feel sorry for you and the dear children. God protect you all. He will be buried on Sunday in St Severe Cemetery with full military honours. He will have a separate grave and a wooden cross, with his name and number on it. With sincere sympathy, Mr Caldwell,chaplain."

The Rushden Echo Friday 4 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier's Death - The Late Pte RW Mackness - Official News

Mrs RW Mackness, of 28 Oakley-road, Rushden has now received official news concerning the death of her husband, Pte Robert William Mackness, 40747, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Deceased was the son of Mr William Mackness, the well-known drummer of the Rushden Mission Silver Band, was 33 years of age. He leaves a widow and two children - a girl three years of age and a boy seven months old. The late Pte Mackness had been a highly respected member of the Independent Wesleyan Mission Hall, Rushden, for many years and he took an active interest in all the branches of its work. He had been a member of the Silver Band ever since its formation nearly 20 years ago. For a long period he was a member of the Mission Cricket Club, the Christian Endeavour, and the Bible class. He died on April 13th in a hospital in Rouen. A letter that he write to his wife on April 5th was not received by her until April 25th, twelve days after his death.

Mrs RW Mackness and all the members of the family desire to express their grateful thanks to all the friends for their deep sympathy in this bereavement.

The Rushden Echo Friday 19 April 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

MACKNESS - In ever loving memory of my dear Husband, Robert William Mackness, who died in Rouen Hospital, April 13th, 1917.

We cannot forget you, we loved you too dearly,
For your memory to fade from our life like a dream;
Lips need not speak when a heart mourns sincerely,
And thoughts often dwell where they seldom are seen.

From a loving Wife and children.

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