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Private Ernest Troy Selwood

200916 1st/4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Son of Mr Robert & Mrs Emily Selwood

Aged 31 years

Died 19th April 1917

Commemorated Gaza War Cemetery
Grave XV. E.8.

Born Kirkwall, Orkney.
The Rushden Echo Friday 11 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Missing Since the Gaza Battle - Former CWS Employee

Official news has been received that Pte Selwood (Rushden), of the NR, was wounded during the battle of Gaza on April 19th, and has been missing from his unit since that date.

The missing soldier, who was 29 years of age, is the son of Mr Robert Selwood, of 245, Wellingborough road, Rushden. His brother, Mr Frank Selwood, of 246 Higham-hill, Rushden, had a letter from him dated two days before the battle, in which he wrote: "I have just recovered from our 100 miles march into Palestine, and am feeling fit and well. In two days I shall have completed two years' service, 19 months of which have been spent on active service. I am looking forward with great hope and confidence to getting through safely, and seeing you all once more, so don't worry about me."

Before enlistment Pte Selwood was a clerk at the CWS boot works, Rushden. He joined the Territorial forces, about two years ago last Easter, and within five months of joining the Colours was in the thick of Gallipoli fighting, through which he came safely. Subsequently he was transferred with his unit to Egypt, where has been ever since.

The Rushden Echo Friday 1 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier's Fate - Private Ernest Selwood - Now Officially Reported Killed - Palestine's Toll of Local Men

Pte Ernest Selwood, Northants Regt, of Rushden, previously reported in our columns as missing, is now officially reported killed in action in the Battle of Gaza, on April 19th. He is the youngest son of Ex-Chief Warrant Officer Robert Selwood, of the Royal Navy, now residing at 245, Wellingborough-road, Rushden, who has another son with the Colours - Lance-Corpl A Selwood, of the Hampshire Regiment.

Second-Lieut C W Mumford writes to the deceased soldier's father: "It is with deep regret I have to inform you that your son, Pte E T Selwood, was killed in action on April 19th. He went into the attack with his company, and, after the battle, was reported missing, but yesterday one of our patrols brought in his identify disc. I cannot tell you how he met his death, but I am certain it was with gallantry. Your son was in my platoon a year and a half, and as company clerk was invaluable to us. He was regarded with affected by all who knew him, and there are many now who grieve his loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy for you in your sorrow."

Mr George Selwood, deceased's uncle, has received the following letter from Sergt E Wright (Rushden): Dear Mr Selwood, - You will no doubt by the time you receive this letter have received the sad news that your nephew, No. 200916, Pte E Selwood, of the same regiment as myself, has been posted as missing. I have, as Orderly Room Sergeant, just received some definite news, which though of a very sad nature, will clear the matter up. A patrol of a regiment that take a portion of the line to the right of our position went out as far as the point we advanced on the day of action, and came across several bodies of men of our regiment in a decomposed state. Owing to the condition of the bodies and the nearness of the Turks' trenches, the only thing possible was done, viz., to take offone of his identify disc. Should we at some future date take this portion of ground - as we hope to do - you can rest assured that his body will be buried in our cemetery, as the method of wearing two identity discs is for that purpose - to recognise bodies that have to be left until it is possible to recover the body.

"The regiment made a great name for itself on that fateful day. It was simply hell all day, but our boys did not flinch in the least, though many of us who were fortunate enough to be able to get back to our lines safely are feeling the strain upon our nerves now.

"Rushden has paid its due share in this action, as to my knowledge at present there are two killed, one missing, and twelve wounded. It is now almost two years since I left England for active service, and when one has been away that time one's longing for home is great. Our experience of the Promised Land is one that we shall never forget."

Rushden Echo, June 8 1917, transcribed by Clive Wood

Rushden Soldier at the Gaza battle

Pte Ernest Selwood of the 'Steelbacks' is now reported as killed, after being 'missing' in the Gaza battle on April 19th. He was the son of Mr Robert Selwood of 245 Wellingborough-road, Rushden, an ex-chief warrant officer of the Royal Navy. Mr George Selwood, the deceased's uncle, received a letter from Sergt. E Wright, of Rushden, which gave particulars of the gallant manner in which the deceased died, and stated that 'Rushden had paid its due share in this action', as to my knowledge at present there are two killed, one missing and twelve wounded.

The Rushden Echo Friday 15 June 1917, transcribed by Miss Bates

Memorial Service at Rushden - The Late Private Ernest Selwood - 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This'

A memorial service for the late Pte Ernest Selwood of the Northamptonshire Regt, who was killed in action and other war victims, of the neighbourhood, was held at the Wellingborough-road war shrine, Rushden, on Sunday last at 1.15 p.m. A large congregation assembled. Hymn sheets were distributed amongst the people gathered together, and hymns extremely appropriate for the occasion and sung with deep emotion, comprised the following: "A few more years shall roll","Thy will be done" (by request of the relations of the late Pte Selwood), "For all the saints who from their labours rest", and "O God, our help in ages past."

The surplices choir with the Rev. P J Richards (Vicar of St Peter's), proceeded from St Peter's Church, the processional hymn "Hark, hark my soul" being sung. The Rev. P E Robinson (Rector of St Mary's), there joined the assembly. Owing to other engagements the Revs. C J Keeler (Independent Wesleyan) and E F Walker (Congregational) were unable to be present. The service was conducted by the Rev. P Richards. After the opening hymn a brief lesson was read from the scriptures.

The Rev. P E Robson gave an impressive address on the words "Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life", and read the names of those of the district who had made the great sacrifice viz., Ernest Selwood, Arthur Page, Walter Laughton, Percy Laughton, Arthur Ward, Reginald Mole, F A Magee, J Spencer, ASA (sic) Rawlins, and Frank Rawlins. The Rev P J Richards also gave an address, the service closing with the first verse of the National Anthem.

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