Harrogate Herald - 18th June 1915
Sergeant Thirkill was a reservist, who,
having one year to serve, was called up and sent to France in
September last. Since October, 1914, no news had been received of
him until last week, when, through the kindness of Sir Lucas
Malet and the Red Cross Association, a wounded comrade has been
found in a London hospital, who was with Thirkill at Ypres, and the
following letter has been received by Mr T H Wilde, his old
schoolmaster at Oatlands Mount :
From Lance Corporal Edwards, St John's
Hospital, Lewisham, SE.
Dear Mr Wilde,
In reply to your letter concerning Sergeant
Thirkill, I am sorry to say I have no reason to believe that he
is alive; but I will give you my reasons.
We were in the same trenches at Ypres when we were
given the order to charge a chateau; Sergeant Thirkill was
amongst the fellows who were given this order.
When we returned from the charge, I am sorry to say
that there were a good many missing, including Sergeant Thirkill,
and my belief is that he was either taken prisoner or lay wounded in
the chateau. Then the Germans blew it up.
I knew Sergeant Thirkill well, as he joined
my platoon when he came out in September but just before he was
missing he left to join 13 Platoon, but was still in my company, and
many a time he and I shared meals together in the same dug-out.
Knowing him as I did, I agree with you that he would
have written if he was a prisoner, and my strong belief is that the
poor fellow was blown up in the chateau.
When you convey this news to his wife and mother,
you might convey to them my deepest sympathy, as the short time I
knew him he struck me as being a true and very brave soldier.
C G Edwards