Sunday, 15 February 2015

Two Crawley Lads at Letouret Memorial

A LOCAL SOLDIER KILLED. - We regret to announce the death of Private W. G. Wright, of the County of London Rifles, who was wounded sometime since during action. The sad news has just been officially conveyed to his mother; and for her the utmost sympathy will be felt in the loss of her only son. Private Wright was an old Blue Coat Boy, but his home was at Waverley, Crawley. Wright was 25.

A CRAWLEY MAN WOUNDED. – Bomb. George Miller, 58th battery RFA, has been unfortunate enough to sustain a very severe wound. On 7th December Bomb. Miller was in a house which came under shell fire, with the result that a piece of shell stripped the tips of his fingers, and, travelling upwards, ripped open his arm and finally lodged in the muscle. The wounded man is hoping to shortly arrive in England.

DEATH AT THE FRONT. – News has reached Crawley last Saturday – a month after if happened of the death of Private. R. Hilder, of 2nd Royal Sussex, who was killed in action. The deceased soldier formerly lived at Crawley, and with the relatives, who still reside in Malt House Road, much sympathy will be felt in their bereavement.

Then on 16th February 1915 Private Frederick Hedger also of 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex was killed in action near Cuinchy at the age of 25. It was reported in the local newspapers that – News has come to hand, though not officially, of the death in action of Mr Hedger, of Albany Road, Crawley, a reservist, who was called up at the commencement of the war. The deceased was a baker in the employ of Messrs. Newport, and he leaves a widow and two children. A soldier friend has communicated the sad news, he having attended Private Hedger’s funeral in France. Much sympathy will be expressed for the bereaved.

The soldier friend mentioned above may have attended Frederick Hedgers funeral but his grave must have been lost in the subsequent fighting as his name appears on a panel of the Letouret Memorial. By one of those very strange coincidences his name appears on the same panel, two names above that of Roland Hilder.

Two brave Crawley men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their home and their country, who must have known each other in Crawley as well as serving in the same battalion their graves lost for all time have the small crumb of comfort that their names are together on the same panel of the Letouret Memorial.  

1 comment:

  1. There is contradictory information about Frederick Hedger's date of death. 'Soldiers who died in the great war' states 10th Feb, Comm War Graves Comm states 16th. They are more likely to be correct, as you are. The Rudgwick Remembers website, where I first found this man's record, goes for 10th. I will let the webmaster know of the discrepancy.
    FH was born in Rudgwick. His father was the blacksmith at Tismans Common. By 1911, FH had married Ada Louisa Hoy, also from Tismans Common, and they had 2, possibly 3 children by the time of his death. In 1911, they lived at 41 Ewart St Brighton, where he worked on the railway. I have been searching for his memorial in the wrong town! He was most likely moved by the railway company up the line to Crawley or Three Bridges so his wife's address was Crawley by 1915. Unfortunately, he was missed off the Rudgwick memorial as he had moved on (as had his parents). I am researching Rudgwick's war dead, and those who survived, for Rudgwick Preservation Society.