Ewhurst History Society

October 1917

News from the Front

The Surrey Times reported the death, near Ypres, of William Childs of Ewhurst Green under the heading “Killed by a Sniper – Mr A Childs of Ewhurst Green has received news that his son Pte William Childs, the Queens was shot by a sniper on October 5th. He was only 19.  Sec. Lt. C. W. Morgan writing to Mr Childs said ‘It is my painful duty to inform you of your son’s death in action on October 5th [sic - ?]. It will comfort you to know that his death was instantaneous a snipers bullet hitting him in the head. Please accept mine and the platoon’s most sincere sympathy in your bereavement. Your son was a good soldier and always carried out any task he was called upon to do well and cheerfully.  Believe me you can be proud of such a son. He died doing his duty and we can ill afford to loose such men.”

His two older brothers had also served with The Queens, Mark, the eldest had joined up in 1912 and served in with the 2nd Battalion in South Africa, where he suffered an injury. The Battalion returned to England, prior to being sent to France, but Mark, presumably still suffering from his injury, was discharged in December 1914 as no longer fit for war service.  His other brother Arthur had been a POW in Germany since 1915.

 Gallantry Awards for local men

On the 13th October The Surrey Advertiser reported that two local men, Privates William Thompson of Ewhurst Green, and Harry Duffell had been awarded the Military Medal. They were both former members of the local troop of Boy Scouts.