Hunts Post 25th June 1915
Death from Gas Poisoning
We regret to announce that a second Needingworth man has been killed in action in France, in the person of Private H Attwood, of the 3rd Royal Fusiliers. The sad news reached his friends on Thursday morning, the first information being the usual War Office announcement stating that Pte H Attwood fell in action on May 24th. Since the letter came to hand, a second one has been received from a friend of Attwood in the same regiment, stating he is believed to have died from gas poisoning, but expressing a slight hope that he may have been taken prisoner, though he is afraid the chance is small. On the sad news becoming generally known, a gloom seemed to pass over the whole village, both Attwood and his friend being very highly respected throughout the village.
Deceased had until quite recently lived with his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. W Attwood, of Church Street, who are old inhabitants of the village. He had, however left the village some two or three months before the outbreak of war, with his employer, the late rector, going to Burnham-on-Crouch, from which place he enlisted soon after the outbreak of war, crossing to France some four months later. Many letters have been received by his numerous friends, in one of which he described carrying his officer from the firing-line to a field ambulance, after staying beside him in the open for some hours, waiting for the rain of shrapnel to cease, and expecting every moment to be his last. In another letter he gave a very good description of the “ghastly gas business” and in his last letter to his mother he asked her to cheer up as he would soon be home and meant to win the Victoria Cross.
Attwood, like Mansfield – the first Needingworth man to fall, had always interested himself in the sports of the village, and like him was of a very genial and merry disposition. He was a general favourite with all who had the pleasure of playing with him. During the last day or two a letter of sympathy has been received from his late employer, in which he made mention of his sterling qualities and expressed his heartfelt sympathy with his parents and friends.
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