Thursday, February 05, 2009

William Lansdowne: one handkerchief, one penny coin, one notebook...

When William Lansdowne sailed for France with the 13th King's Royal Rifle Corps in July 1915, his wife May was four months pregnant. When he was killed in action in February 1916, the baby daughter he'd never seen (except perhaps in a photograph) was under two months old.

The month after he was killed, May Lansdowne received a pathetic bundle containing her husband's effects. This contained, " soft helmet, one mouth organ, eleven postcards, one handkerchief, one penny coin, one notebook, one gospel, one tin box and two photos." Reading his service record even now, over ninety years after he was killed, is extremely poignant.

May Lansdowne had connections with Chailey Girls Heritage, probably working there as a servant, and it appears to be her connection with Chailey Heritage which links William, a Londoner, to Chailey.

William does not receive any mention in Chailey Parish Magazine but Soldiers Died in the Great War notes that his place of residence was Chailey at the time he enlisted, and I am pleased to be able to acknowledge, in a tiny way, his sacrifice via this blog and my Chailey 1914-1918 website.

Read William Lansdowne's service record with a FREE 14 day trial to - Click here!

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