Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


Typical extract from local newspapers - Cambridge Independent Press - Friday 1 December 1916


Old County School Boy Killed in Action.

News was received on Tuesday of the death in action on the 23rd inst. of Sec. Lieut. Hector Fussell Billinger, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Billinger, of 44. St. Barnabas-road. Cambridge. He was educated at the Cambridge County School and at St. John’s College, and took second class honours in the History Tripos Examination in 1914. He had just received an appointment as history master at the Royal Masonic School, Bushey, when war broke out. He immediately applied for a commission, having been a member of the Officers’ Training Corps during his school and college career. He was gazetted in October, 1914. to the 10th Battalion E. Lancs. Regiment. He went out to France in February 1916, and had been acting adjutant ever since March.

Mr and Mrs. Cowling, of 68, Panton-street, Cambridge, have received official information that their son, Signalling-Instructor Cyril Frank Cowling, Civil Service Rifles (London Regt.) was killed in action on September 15th The first intimation was received from three of his friends of the same section, one of them, Rifleman Cyril Barsham, being with him when he died. They were in a newly-captured German trench, and were sending messages to the rear, when Instructor Cowling was hit by shrapnel in the neck, which severed the artery and caused his death. Instructor C. F. Cowling, before joining up, was on the staff of the P.O. Engineering Office, Hills-road. He was a fine young man, with a promising career before him, and, as evidenced by the many letters of sympathy that have been received by his parents from all parts, was loved and respected by all who knew him. At the outbreak of the war he asked to be released from his duties in order to join the Army, but that being already a Civil Servant, it was not until June, 1915, that permission was given. He and others of his colleagues then enlisted straight away. They had been preparing themselves to serve as signallers, and composed themselves a Signalling Section of Cambridge men in the London Rifles. It was while at Chelsea Barracks in special training that Rifleman Cowling qualified as a signalling-instructor. His regiment was stationed at Winchester, and on his return he discovered his friends had been drafted out in France and he at once asked that his name might be added to the next draft to be sent out, sacrificing his position as lance-corporal and other provisions in order to be with his friends. They soon met again, and he became instructor as before. lnstructor Cowling was a native of Sawston, and was educated first at the Council school, afterwards at the County School, Cambridge. He prepared for the Civil Service, and in due time entered it, serving respectively London, Birmingham and Cambridge. Mr. and Mrs. Cowling have received many letters from the deceased’s friend, expressing their sympathy and paying high tributes to his good qualities. Rifleman Barsham wrote: “I have lost in Cyril the best pal a fellow could have, and miss him more than I should like to say. He was a splendid fellow, and the most popular in the Section. All the fellows wish me to tell you so. He died a hero’s death, also a Christian.” Rifleman Rayner, who has since died of wounds wrote: "He was like a brother to me, as you know, and if it is God’s will that I should some day go as well, I pray that it may be as bravely and calmly as your dear son." Rifleman H. Rice (once seriously wounded) said in a letter: “We with whom he had been associated so long greatly feel the loss, and on behalf of his many friends I extend to you both our very deep sympathy." Sapper R. P. Patterson says I can truly say that Cyril was the best pal that I have ever had, or ever hope to have.” Chaplain J. F. Alfred Baker states; "His chums speak most highly and affectionately of his straight, manly, and lovable disposition."

Mr. F. Jones, of 9, Eden-street, Cambridge, has received official information that his son, Pte. F. C. Jones, was killed in action Oct. 17th. He met his death whilst assisting to beat off an attack on a line of trenches which had been captured from the enemy. "He was a good soldier," writes his officer, “and did his duties cheerfully and well.” Pte. Jones was a porter in the employ of Messrs. R. Sayle and Co. and enlisted some two years ago in the Cambridgeshires being subsequently transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment. He was well known in Cambridge, Newmarket and Peterborough as a singer.

Mrs. Gladwell, of 41, Lucy-road, Cambridge, has received official intimation that her husband, Pte. W. T. Gladwell, of the Cambridgeshire Regt., was killed in action on October 31st. A letter from the officer of the Company states: “He was struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel and died immediately. He was attended to at once by a doctor who was just near him, but states that his death was instantaneous. I am afraid that no Ietter of mine can offer you consolation in your great loss, but please accept my sincere sympathy with you and your family. He was a soldier in a thousand and a very faithful servant to me, and as you know. I had a verv high opinion of him. . . He will be buried to-morrow morning in a cemetery just near here, a few graves away from my great friend, Lieutenant Bradford.” Pte. Fred Atkin, of the Herts. Regt., a friend of Pte. Gladwell, says in a letter: "Dear Mrs. Gladwell, I wish you to accept the joint sympathy of all the men attached to the headquarters, together with my own, in the recent death of your husband, Bill. That he was popular with all goes without saying, it would not be otherwise and though his death is a keen to… to each of us, I expect ………… in our work. He had a fitting funeral as could be … and was spared suffering of pain, which will afford you some comfort to know, as it did us. In this time of great trial to you as to many like you. We kindly hope you will meet with the strength and bravery of a good British woman, and God will bless you and the little ones for enduring much for His sake. We know and feel you will … this trial bravely, it is just what Bill would himself wish you to do." Pte. Gladwell, who was 29 years of age, was in the Territorial Force when war broke out, and went out with the first detachment. He had been twice wounded. Before the War he was employed for about eight years at the Saxon Cement Works.

Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Coulson of 10, Godesdone-road, have had news of the death of their son, Pte. Arthur Coulson, of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, which occurred on November 13th. The news is contained in a letter from Pte. H. Cash, also of the Cambs. Regiment, who signs himself as "your son's chum.’’ The letter states: “He met his death in the most gallant manner. We were attacking from a strong position and Arthur was in charge of his position. He went in front his men to see who was raiding the trench in front of him, when the Huns opened rapid rifle fire on him, and hit him about eight times. Despite his wounds he managed to get back, and so saved his comrades' . . . . . . . your Arthur was very popular with all his comrades: he was a very efficient soldier and the best chum one could have. All his comrades join with me in expressing our sympathy with you in your great loss.” The soldier who met his death in this “most gallant manner’’ was only 18 years of age. He enlisted before he was 17 and had been at the front for 11 months. Before joining up he worked with Mr. Pauley, in Bridge-street, as a painter. Mr. and Mrs. Coulson have one other son who is also in the Army. He has been wounded once, and is now in India.

Notice has been received of the death of the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Munns, of 68, Victoria-road. Chesterton who died of fever at Salonica. He was formerly on the clerical staff of the 1st Eastern Hospital, but was drafted out to the 41st General Hospital, Salonica, last July. He was borne to his last resting-place at Lembet Cemetery, the “Last Post” was sounded, and three volleys were fired. Amongst the Greek wreaths sent were some from the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the 41st General Hospital, one from the 1st G.E.N. N.C.O.’s and men from his unit, and one English wreath from the nurses.

Mr. S. Stevens, of 16, French’s-road, has received news that his brother, Lance-Corpl. George Stevens, No. 11815. Queen’s R.W. Surreys, died of wounds received in action on the 3rd of November. Lance-Corpl. Stevens, before joining the colours, was employed at Christ’s College, and was formerly on the Emmanuel College kitchen staff for 15 years.

It was reported to the Borough Education Committee on Tuesday that Miss L. M. Boucher, sister of Mr. Alec Boucher, formerly an assistant master at East-road School, has received a telegram from the War Office stating that her brother was killed in action on November 18th.

Mrs. Endersby, of 80, Hertford-street, Cambridge, has received notification from the War Office that her son, Arthur W. Endersby, has been missing since October I2th. He is 26 years of age and joined up May 31st, 1915, in the Suffolk Regiment. He is an only child, and his father, who was a prominent member and official of the Sturton-street Primitive Methodist Church, died in 1909. The son was actively connected with the church. Efforts are being made to secure more definite information. Much sympathy is felt for his widowed mother.

Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Struggles, 18, Sidney-street, have received official information that their son, Pte. Leonard C. Struggles, Cambridgeshire Regiment, has been wounded and has been admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Egbaston, Birmingham. He went out with the Cambridgeshire Regiment in February, 1915.

Mrs. Newman, of 14, Mawson-road, has received official intimation that her second son, Pte. C. B. Newman, of the Cambs. Regt., was wounded in the arm by a gunshot on Nov. 10th, and was lying in hospital at Bury St. Edmunds. She has since visited him and found him getting well towards recovery, Pte. Newman, who is 28 years of age, joined up in February last, and went to the front in July. He was formerly employed by Mr. H. Rooke, builder and decorator, King-street..

Pte George Harry Clarke, Cambs. Regt., is lying in a base hospital suffering from a shell wounded received on Nov. 15th. Pte. Clarke, who enlisted in August, 1914, has been serving abroad since February, 1915. He was wounded on Sept. 3rd, and had just returned to his regiment when he was wounded again. He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, of 37. Catherine-street, and before the war was employed by Whitmore’s, wine merchants. Downing-street.

Mr. and Mrs. Littlechild, of 9, Shelley-terrace, Shelley-row, Cambridge, have received news that their son, Pte. T. Littlechild, of the Duke of Wellington's, has been wounded in the right hand, and is now in hospital in Edmonton, where he is doing well. Pte. Littlechild joined up in the same month that war broke out, and has been in France for a year and nine months.

Mr. and Mrs. Deane, of 101, Cavendish-road, Cambridge, have received news that their son, Pte. F. H. Deane, of the Suffolk Regiment, was admitted to a hospital in France on November 14th, suffering from a gunshot wound in the right shoulder. Pte. Deane, who was formerly employed at the Co-operative Stores, Victoria-road, joined up last January, and went out to the front in August.

The late Pte. Charles Seeby, whose death was reported last week, was a native of Trumpington. He joined the Suffolks on September 14th, 1915. Went to the front in August, 1916, and then transferred into the Hampshire Regiment. He was killed instantaneously on October 20th. Mrs. Seeby has received the following Ietter from his Lieutenant: — “l am deeply grieved to have to tell you of the death of your husband. He was in my platoon, and we are very sorry to lose him. He was always chcerlul and keen. He was killed by shrapnel and suffered no pain. We did all we could for him. I am sorry to say I could not get his personal belongings but it was in an attack, and we could do no more.”


Pte. Alfred Clark has been severely wounded. He has been sent to England, and is now in hospital at Frodsham, Cheshire, where he is slowly recovering.

Police Sergeant Gilbey has received letter of sympathy from the King referring to the death in France of Pte. Cecil Gilbey, killed in action October 29th. Lieut. Walker, a company officer, writing of this sad occurrence, says: “He was cheerful and willing in any work that fell to him, and met his death in the noblest cause, that of his country.”


Mrs. A J. Plumb, of Mill End, Cherryhinton, has received official intimation that her husband. A. J. Plumb, who was recently transferred from the Cambridgeshires to the Norfolks, has been missing since October 15th. Before the war Pte. Plumb was in the employ of Messrs. Rattee and Kett. He was married last April while on leave.


News has reached the village that Pte. F. Childerley, Royal West Kent Regiment, is reported wounded and missing. He is the son of Mrs. Francis Childerley, of Paddock-row, and enlisted in the Suffolk Yeomanry last March. He went to France in August, and was transferred into the Royal West Kents. Any information concerning him will be gratefully received by his mother. The last letter received from him was dated August 25th.


Mrs. Manders, of Great Wilbraham, has heard that her eldest son, Pte. Jack Manders, of the King’s Own Royal Yorkshire Regiment, is severely wounded in the elbow, wrist, and arm, and is now in the Military Hospital, Upper Edmonton.

Mr. and Mrs. S. Stubbings have received news that their son. Sergt. William Stubbings, of the Suffolk Regiment, is missing. He is believed to have been taken prisoner November I3th. Another son, Sergt. Fred Stubbings, of the Bedfords, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery on the battlefield.


Mrs Alfred Eley, of Linton, has received a letter from France, stating that her son has been wounded in the leg in a recent battle. Lance- Corpl. A. Collins writes that the parcel sent to Pte. Eley arrived after he had gone away to the hospital, it was shared among his comrades.


Another Histon lad has laid down his life for his country, viz.. Pte. Stanlev Foster, of the Cambridgeshires. The news had reached his father, Mr. William Foster, of Saffron-road, in a letter from a friend, although as yet no official intimation has been received from the War Office. Pte. Foster enlisted quite early in the war, and some four months ago had a short furlough, coming home direct from the trenches. He is the fifth member of the local Court of the Ancient Order of Foresters to be killed in the war. An elder brother is also serving with the colours in France.


News was received last week by Mr. and Mrs. J. Stubbings, of Swaston, that their son, Lce.- Sergt. B. Stubbings, of the Cambs. Regiment. Was wounded by shrapnel in the thigh on the 13th inst. he is now in hospital at Birmingham, where he is progressing favourably.

Friends of the War Memorials
War Memorials Trust

Main Page

Commonweath War Graves Commission
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Copyright © 2002