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Private W Winterburn


Harrogate Herald - 7th March 1917

Roll of Honour

Intimation has been received by Mrs W Winterburn, of New Park, that her husband, Private W Winterburn, West Yorks, has been killed in action. He was the son of Mr & Mrs G Winterburn, of West View, New Park, Harrogate. This is the second son they have lost in the war. He played occasionally at half-back for the old Harrogate Rugby Club, in which position he gave much promise, but was unable to assist regularly. He was also a good cricketer, and played with the New Park Institute and the Star of Hope clubs, and was well-known in connection with the Nidderdale League. He leaves a widow and two young children. 

The following letters give particulars of the sad occurrence and the esteem in which he was held by his comrades : 

Mr Dear Mrs Winterburn, I am bitterly sorry to have to inform you that your husband has been killed while doing duty in the trenches, though you may by now have had the official notification. We are all, officers and men, absolutely staggered at it, for "Tiggy" was one of the most popular of our men. He was proceeding with another man on a message for me, when a shell burst nearby, and from that moment he was unconscious. This was on Tuesday afternoon, the 20th February. I am most distressed at it, and all our sympathy is with you in your grief and with your family. I have lost a servant who was prepared to go through thick and thin with me to the end - a thorough, sound, and lovable man, with no equal as a worker. You have lost a husband who, I am sure, was all a husband should be. There is not a man or officer in the company who does not give you his whole-hearted sympathy , and who would not do anything to show how well we valued "Tiggy". We can scarcely believe it, for it was all so sudden, and day by day we miss him more. He was buried at about 4 o'clock on Tuesday. Now, Mrs Winterburn, I had made a lifelong friend of your husband. Now that he is gone, I want you to feel that I am your friend, and that if you want any help I am ready to help you all I can. If I could do more I would. The postcard I enclose was written by your husband, but never posted, I am sending you some letters which came for him when we got out of the trenches. Again with all our fullest sympathy, yours very sincerely,

Arthur E Green, Captain.

Dear Mrs Winterburn, On behalf of myself and the whole of the band, I desire at this the earliest opportunity of expressing to you our very deep regret and sympathy in your great and irreparable loss sustained by this death in action of your beloved husband. Words cannot describe the shock and horror with which we were struck when the news reached me an hour or two after. I am sure you will understand our feelings a little, as "Tiggy", as he was called, was always the popular favourite of the band. The remainder of the band were not in action, but were behind the lines on fatigue work, and Will should have been there with them, only that he chose to be true to his master, Captain Green, and went to the trenches with him, so you see he died a hero and faithful servant. He is buried a little way behind the firing line, and so long as we remain in this part of the line we shall endeavour to look after his grave. I feel that I cannot say more at this juncture, as the regiment has suffered very badly this week. Trusting that God will give you grace and strength to bear this great burden, I remain, yours very sincerely,

George Procter, Drum-Major.


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