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Private Walter H Weighill


Harrogate Herald - 24th February 1915

W H Breare letter

Private W H Weighill, Royal Army Medical Corps, 11the General Hospital, Imperial Pavilion Hotel, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France (how's that for style? And the Continent, too!), stopped me in Oxford Street to thank me for the Harrogate Herald and the soldiers' letter. There's no swank about Weighill. He looked as if he'd been sticking to business, but was very well nevertheless. He was glad to have even a short holiday, yet as determined and cheerful as you all are. I don't know which I should prefer, the trenches or hospital. The trench man is liable to get both, isn't it? Each situation requires nerve and patriotism. We duly appreciate the fact that every man on service is doing his very necessary share for his country, and is entitled to our gratitude and admiration. He has both, in overflowing measure.


Harrogate Herald - 1st December 1915

Roll of Honour

Harrogate regular dies at his post.

"One of the best"

News has been received by Mr and Mrs Weighill, of 44 Unity Grove, Harrogate, that their son, Private W H Weighill, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, has died at Calais whilst on active service, in his 24th year. Private Weighill has been six years in the Regular Army. Particulars as to his breakdown and sudden death are contained in the following letter :

Dear Madame, No doubt by this time you have received a telegram from the War Office informing you of the sad news of your son. As matron of the hospital ship, Stad Antwerpen, I want to express to you my deepest sympathy in your trouble, a sympathy shared, I know, by everyone on board this ship. Your son had endeared himself to us all by his never failing devotion to duty, and by his sudden death the whole ship has been cast into deep gloom. It is less than a week ago that your son reported sick, and he was thoroughly examined by the medical officer on duty, under whose treatment he had been ever since. He was taken from his ordinary duties and put on to light ones, and warned that for some time it was necessary for him to refrain from any undue exertion, as his heart was not strong. Your son was very happy on board, and if there is anything you might like to ask me concerning him I shall be only too happy to do so. Again expressing my deepest sympathy in your great sorrow.

Believe me, yours sincerely, M E Keen


HS Stad Antwerpen, c/o EMO, Dover

25th November 1915

Dear Mrs Weighill, I hope you will forgive the liberty I am taking in writing this letter to you. I am writing on behalf of two friends, Privates Newman and Spencer, and self, who were all three great friends of Walter's, and mind, this is no blarney when I say he was not "one of the best", but he was "the best" that we had on this boat, and was not only thought a great del of by all of his comrades of the Corps, but also by all the members of the Belgian crew of this boat. He was what we in the Army call "stickers" - would not give in until he could do no more, and even then was not satisfied. I myself was not with him at the last, but I am certain he knew no pain. We have had wreaths bought for his grave, and the crew have also shown their sympathy in the same manner. Well, Mr Weighill, I for one shall never forget his dry humour. I have missed him very much, and not being able to see him after he died I cannot really believe he has gone, and I am sure his memory will not require keeping green amongst the men, and we three, whenever it is possible, will go and tend to the grave; it is all we can do for him now. Could we do more, right willingly would we do it. Would you kindly pass our sympathy on to his young lady. I have every reason to believe from little things he dropped at times, that they thought a great deal of each other, and that she was worthy of him, and girls of that sort are not easily picked up. I will close now, but believe me, Mrs Weighill, you have the deepest sympathy of all on this boat, even though they are not doing as I am doing. I know that they feel it for you, his mother, and all his friends in your bereavement, and now hoping you will excuse the liberty taken by,

Yours in sympathy, H S Young, A Newman, W E Spencer.


HS Stad Antwerpen, c/o EMO, Dover

25th November 1915

Dear Mrs Weighill, I received your letter this morning, and I am glad you had mine before you heard from the War Office, as I was able to explain the sad news a little to you. The funeral took place on Tuesday in Calais at the soldiers' cemetery, which is about three miles out. The flowers were very beautiful. A cross was sent from the officers, matron, and sisters; a wreath from all the Royal Army Medical Corps men, and another from the Belgian crew which is made of artificial flowers. It is the wish of all his comrades to put a headstone to his grave, so we hope before long to have it erected. The ground will not be fit for it just yet, of course. I will certainly see to his things, and you shall have everything there is which can be sent. I understand the men are writing themselves to you to express their sympathy with you in your and our great loss. If at any time there is anything else you would like me to tell you I shall be most happy to do so, although I think I have mentioned everything. Hoping your strength is keeping up under your great trouble.

Believe me, yours very sincerely, M G Keen


Claro Times - 3rd December 1915

Private W H Weighill, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, son of Mr and Mrs Weighill, 44 Unity Grove, Harrogate, has died at Calais, in his 24th year. He was in the regular army for six years.


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

On Sunday evening, an "In Memoriam" service was held at the Primitive Methodist Church, Dragon Parade, Harrogate, for the late Private Walter Weighill, Royal Army Medical Corps. The Rev W Younger based his remarks on St John xi, part of the 36th verse, "How He must have loved him". The preacher paid a fine tribute to the deceased, mentioning his connection with the school and his fine character as a lad. In reviewing the sad circumstance, it was mentioned that death had been hastened by the conscientious attention to duty, and it could be truly said that he had laid down his life for his country. Private W Weighill had been stationed in India, and also had been at Aldershot, Sheffield, and Dover. After studying at Netley Hospital, he was eventually sent to Boulogne. His health being far from satisfactory, he was placed on one of the transports plying the Channel, in the hope that the sea air would prove beneficial, but he gradually got worse instead of better, and he was sent to Calais Hospital a broken man, where he passed peacefully away. His remains were interred three miles outside Calais. The funeral bore excellent testimony of the esteem in which he was held both by his comrades and officers. He was a lovable youth, loved his home, and the eulogy received by his parents from his comrades bears all that has been said regarding his personal character. The deceased's brother is now serving his country in Egypt. The preacher, in an eloquent discourse, showed that "death is not the final thing of life". The anthem, "Yea, though I walk", was sympathetically rendered by the choir.


Harrogate Herald - 30th November 1921

Memorial tablet in porch of the Dragon Road Methodist Church : Full article at War Memorials

The tablet, which is surrounded with an artistic raised border, bears an oval wreath in relief, and the names of the fallen in raised letters in the centre as follows : 

"In honoured memory of the men of this church who fought and died in the Great War. A Bradley, H Bennison, B Bousedale, R Houseman, E [Could be K or H] Hardcastle, A Hood, W A Long, W Macintosh, M Maude, E Middleton, R Preston, N Shepherd, G Topham, W H Weighill, R Wegg. On to the City of God".




Royal Army Medical Corps

Private Walker Henry Weighill 4505

Born : Barnsley

Enlisted : Harrogate

Died : 21st November 1915


France and Flanders


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