|The Rushden Echo Friday 4 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Recruits in Action - Local Casualties - Bravery of Capt Stocken's Volunteers Upholding the Fame of the Northants Regt - Heavy Losses in the British Offensive
It may be remembered that at the time when Rushden men who formed Capt Stocken's recruits in Spencer Park, Rushden, we predicted that though most of the men were factory workers they would be among the best soldiers and would uphold the traditions of the Northants Regiment. That this prophecy was no vain assertion has now been proved by the dash and bravery these men have shown in the present British offensive. They have been in action before on many occasions, and on each occasion they have justified our prediction. It is with the greatest regret that we have reports that their casualties have been heavy. A letter from one of the boys, Corpl J T Fensome, son of Mrs Fensom, Brookfield-road, Rushden, speaks of their latest experience of the fierce fighting raging in France, and continues:-
"Young Taylor has been killed, and Peter Underwood, Tommy Parker, and Grimshaw are missing, with several other Rushden lads."
The Peter Underwood referred to is 22505, Pte Peter Underwood, - Northants Regt., whose home is in Wellingborough-road, Rushden. Pte Underwood joined Captain Stocken's recruits on Nov. 8th, 1915, and was sent to France on April 16th, 1916.
"Grimshaw" was evidently written in mistake for "Scrimshaw", as all the chaps referred to were chums, and that was not a Grimshaw amongst them. There is no doubt that the man meant is William Arthur Scrimshaw, - Northants Regt., whose home address is 35 Midland-road, Rushden. He also enlisted in November 1915, and he went out to France on March 18th, 1916.
"Tommy Parker" refers to 22210, Pte Thomas Henry Parker, Northants Regt., son of Mr and Mrs Geo. Parker, of 21, Montague-street, Rushden. Pte Parker enlisted and went out to France at the same time as Pte Underwood.
Another letter has been received from a Rushden man that says "Tom Parker and Peter Underwood did not answer roll call," so there is not much room for doubt as to the accuracy of the unofficial reports concerning these two men. All we can hope is that their lives have been spared, and that they have been found by other British regiments and failing that, that they have been taken prisoner.
The "Young Taylor" referred to in the letter from Fensome, is, we believe, Pte Bert Taylor, of "Mobb's Own". Mr and Mrs G W Battersby of High-street, Rushden, have received an official intimation that he was killed on April 12th, and he was in the same active service regiment of the Northamptons to which Capt Stocken's first batch of Rushden recruits were transferred. Deceased enlisted in Mobb's battalion nearly two years ago, and came home on leave twelve months ago last February. Pte Taylor, who was an orphan, was employed by Mr Battersby before he enlisted, and he was locally known as the "scorer" for the Rushden Thursday Cricket Club.
|The Rushden Echo Friday 18 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier's Death - Private Bert Taylor Killed Instantaneously by a Chance Shell
Mr G W Battersby, of 68 High-street, Rushden, has reicved further information concerning the death of the late Pte Bert Taylor, Northants Regt., who was killed in action on April 12th, as reported hi the "Rushden Echo" at the time. It will be remembered that Pte Taylor, was formerly in Mr Battersby's employ, and was well known through his connection with the Rushden Thursday Cricket Club.
Capt J A Elliman writes: "Pte Taylor was killed instantaneously in the entrance of my dug-out by a chance shell, which struck the doorway killing at the same time another officer's servant and wounding a third. I known his officer, Lieut Greenwood, was very upset by his death, as Pte Taylor had always been a cheerful soldier and a cool hand, in fact he is missed by all of us at company headquarters, having been there probably longer than any of us. His officer has since been transferred to another unit."