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Information from Clive Wood, 2008
Private William Samuel Whiting

14340 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Son of Mr Wm & Mrs Harriet Whiting

Aged 19 years

Died 13th April 1916

Commemorated at Carnoy Military Cemetery
Grave R.13.
And in Rushden Cemetery
Grave C.185

The family grave at Rushden CemeteryBorn at Wellingborough, enlisted at Northampton.
The Rushden Echo Friday 21 April 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Killed - Private W S Whiting - An Unofficial Report

It is with the deepest regret that we have to report that Mr and Mrs W Whiting, of North street, Rushden, have again been called upon to suffer for the country's sake. The sad news had come to hand, from unofficial sources, that their son, Pte W S Whiting, of — Northants Regt., has recently died in the service of his King and country on the Western front.

The information is sent by Lce-Corpl W A Stock (Rushden) in a letter to his wife, published in this issue, in which he also mentions that two other local soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice.

When it is remembered that Mr and Mrs Whiting were amongst the first in Rushden to suffer bereavement through the war, when their second son (the late First-Class Stoker Harry Whiting) went down in the Submarine D5 which was sunk by a mine during a naval engagement off Yarmouth, the sympathy of the whole town and district will, we feel sure, be extended to them in this their new and great sorrow.

Beyond the letter sent by Lce-Corpl Stock, the contents of which have been communicated to them, Mr and Mrs Whiting had, up to Tuesday afternoon, received no further information concerning their son's death.

The late Pte Whiting was but 19 years of age, and at the time of his enlistment in Kitchener's Army, was only 17 years and five months old, but, so his mother informs us, he was eager to go and do his bit.

He went to France on the Tuesday before the August Bank Holiday last year, and up to the time of his demise, which according to Lance-Corpl Stock's letter occurred on April 13th, had come through unscathed. In none of his letters home did he express regret at having joined His Majesty's Forces, and there had been no word of complaint concerning the hardships he, with others, has had to endure.

Mr and Mrs Whiting have one other son serving his country — Pte John Ellis Whiting, of the Northants Regiment, who is at present serving in Egypt.

The Rushden Echo, Friday 21 April 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Killed

The late Pte W S Whiting, son of Mr and Mrs W Whiting, of 30 North-street, Rushden, who as reported in the "Rushden Echo", was killed in action on April 13th, while serving with the Northants Regt. Captain Podmore's fine tribute is "in all the really soldier-like qualities of courage, endurance, cheerfulness and self-forgetfulness he was second to none."

Wellingborough News, April 21 1916, transcribed by Clive Wood

Another Rushden Soldier Killed

We are sorry to state that information has been received in Rushden of the death in action of Pte Whiting son of Mr & Mrs Whiting of North Street, Rushden. Soon after the outbreak of war Mr & Mrs Whiting lost their sailor son, who went down in a submarine.

The Rushden Echo Friday 28 April 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Killed - Private W S Whiting - Striking Tribute from the Captain - 'At His Best in Difficulty or Danger' - 'Second to None in Courage, Endurance, Cheerfulness, and Self-Forgetfulness' - Letter From Major Wyndowe

Mr and Mrs W Whiting of 30, North-street, Rushden, whose son, Pte W S Whiting of the Northants Regt., has been killed as reported in last week's "Rushden Echo" has received the following letter from Major Wyndowe. "I fear I have sad news for you. Early this morning, during a heavy bombardment of our trenches, your gallant son met his death by shell fire while bravely defending our front line. We buried him in our cemetery here this afternoon, and his personal belongings will be sent to you to-morrow. Please accept the sincerest sympathy of us all in your great grief."

Mrs Whiting has received the following letter from Capt. Podmore in regard to the death of her son: "I am extremely sorry to inform you of the death of your son Pte S Whiting, on the morning of April 13th. I am very sorry I have not been able to write before, but I think Major Wyndowe has already written to let you know. I cannot say how sorry I and all the officers who knew your son are to have lost such a willing, gallant soldier. What the loss must be to you I dare not think, but the best way in which I can try and express our sympathy for you in your grief is to assure you of the great affection with which your son was regarded by all his comrades, and the high value which all his superiors set on his qualities as a soldier.

"He was killed instantaneously, you will be glad to hear, during a German attack on out trenches. He was at the time out in our trenches putting up wire. He had absolutely no fear, and was always to the fore when any difficult or dangerous job was in hand. In fact, I have never known a man who so absolutely showed up his best in difficulty or danger and actually seemed to enjoy it. He was never without a smile on his face, and though sometimes in billets and in the old days in England I used to find fault with him for not taking quite enough trouble to be smart, I never had anything but praise for him when there was any real work to be done - digging or patrolling or putting wire in front of our trenches. It all came the same to him - the more unpleasant the job and the weather the more cheerful he was, and it is difficult for you to realise, until you have seen it, the enormous influence one man like that has on his comrades. Time and again I have seen him cheering up a party which was getting tired, by his own words and example, and one simple private soldier of that sort can do more to keeping his fellows hearts up than any N.C.O. or Officer.

"Please don't think I am merely saying these things to console you in your loss. They are all absolutely true. Your son was not a born soldier in the parade ground sense of the word, but in all the really soldier-like qualities of courage, endurance, cheerfulness, and self-forgetfulness he was second to none, and nothing I can say can convey to you the loss which such a man's death means to us, and more particularly to his own platoon.

"He was buried on April 13th in the soldier's cemetery just behind the line. The commanding officer, the adjutant, and myself were there at the funeral, and also several men of his platoon. He lies near his fallen comrades (Sergt Horace Sheffield among them), with a plain wooden cross over him. On it is printed:-

In loving memory of Pte S Whiting,
— Regiment
Killed in action April 13th, 1916.

We are now putting in the trenches again and his friends will be putting a wreath of ivy and wild flowers on his grave from the neighbouring wood.

"Please let me know if there is anything else I can tell you. If you can presently spare me a photograph of your boy, I should be proud to have one. Yours very sincerely, H Podmore (Captain)."

We are pleased to report that Mr and Mrs Whiting's nephew, Rifleman G J Judkins, of the 11th Rifle Brigade, has been awarded the D.C.M. He was severely wounded on Oct. 16th in France, and has been in hospital about seven months. Although had had seven wounds in his back and one in his side he has made a good recovery.

Official news confirming 14340 Pte W S Whiting's death was received yesterday midday, and was accompanied by the customary letter of sympathy from the King and Queen.

Mr and Mrs W Whiting and family wish to express heartfelt thanks for the many expressions of sympathy they have received in their sad bereavement.

The Rushden Echo Friday 13 April 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

WHITING - In loving memory of Pte William Samuel Whiting, 6th Northants Regiment, the dearly loved son of Mr and Mrs W Whiting, 30 North-street, Rushden who fell in action, April 13th, 1916, and was buried at Carnoy, France.

We have lost him, we who loved him
And like other must be brave,
But we know that he is sleeping
In an unknown British grave.

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