Sunday, 8 February 2015




Not for years has the death of a local person occasioned so much sorrow, and drawn forth such profound sympathy, as has characterised the passing away of Charles Kenneth Mitchell, the only son of Mr and Mrs C. J. Mitchell, of Post Office Road, Crawley. The deceased was a popular son of a popular family, was known by everybody and loved by all, and the news of his death came as a great shock.

Soon after the formation of the Southdown Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, Kenneth joined that body with other Crawley friends and had been spending a happy time at Cooden Camp, near Bexhill, and only a few weeks ago he secured his first stripe, giving him the rank of Lance Corporal.

Suddenly he was stricken with an illness which developed cerebro-spinal meningitis and, despite the best medical attention and nursing, he breathed his last on Friday February 5th in a hospital near the camp. Naturally his parents, who were with him to the last, were broken hearted and in their great and unexpected bereavement they have received the heart felt sympathy of all their friends. This, to some extent, has lightened the burden, but the blow has indeed been a terrible one and Mr Mitchell was so ill that he could not attend the funeral.

Kenneth Mitchell was a thorough sportsman and he was a member of all the local cricket and football clubs, both at Crawley and Three Bridges. He was an active member, too, and one whose play, whether at football or cricket, was watched by many enthusiasts. It was his close association with all the sporting clubs with the district that made Ken, so well known and popular, and that popularity had spread far beyond the immediate district of Crawley. He was equally enthusiastic as a soldier and was keen at having a pop at the Germans. This opportunity to do still greater service for his Country has been nipped in the bud by his untimely death, but his life has nevertheless been sacrificed in his country’s cause.

The body was brought home to Crawley in a motor hearse on Monday and the funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon in the Crawley parish church yard. There was a very large and sympathetic crowd, the largest seen for many years at a local funeral. Military honours were accorded and the ceremony was of the most impressive character. The polished oak coffin was practically covered with a union jack and was borne from the house to the church on the shoulders of uniformed comrades, preceded by a firing party with arms reversed.

Following the coffin walked N.C.Os carrying beautiful floral tributes, and behind them four of the deceased’s comrades carried a bier, which was completely covered with wreaths and other lovely floral tokens of sympathy and sorrow. Major the Hon. Neville Lytton and Lieut. Page walked next and behind marched the Crawley boy Scouts these being followed by he family mourners. The rear was brought by a contingent of the Manchester Regiment (now stationed at Three Bridges), under Sergeant Gale, these being followed by the general body of mourners – amongst whom was my great grandfather Herbert Cook. On the coffin was the inscription, ‘Charles Kenneth Mitchell, Born 1st Oct 1889, died 5th February, 1915.’

After the rendering of the final hymn the usual three volleys were fired over the grave and the Last Post was sounded by the buglers, this ending a ceremony which was extremely impressive and full of sadness.

No comments:

Post a Comment