All of Fleet mourns rector’s son in 1915

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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The whole village of Fleet mourned with their rector in the terrible death of his second son, Lieut Harry Law, in 1915.

Although the Rev J H A Law and his family had not lived in the village very long, the rector had become known “as a man devoted to the cause of duty”.

Now, the report continued, “the rev. gentleman has been called upon to live to the uttermost the principles which he has preached – bravery and resignation in the face of trouble. There are not many men who could have stood at the open grave of a dearly beloved son and calmly joined in the singing of the National Anthem as he did. It was an example which will be cherished in the memory of Fleet folk all their lives.”

Lieut Harry Law’s body lay in the church, shrouded in the Union flag, all night, his death the result of wounds received in France. Parishioners began to assemble in church a considerable time before the funeral was due to start.

A detachment of 69 men of the Royal Bucks Hussars, together with two trumpeters and Captain Weatherly, Lieut Russell, Lieut McDougal and Sgt Major Phillips, arrived by train from King’s Lynn. They marched to the church and formed up in front of the grave, which “loving hands had lined with laurel and masses of beautiful roses”, while the bearer party entered. The soldiers carried the body to its last resting place in a downpour of rain.

During 1914, Harry was second lieutenant in the Cambridge University OTC and was gazetted to the 6th Rifle Brigade at the outbreak of war, before being attached to the 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was with his regiment as a machine gun officer, and was mentioned in dispatches. He was acting adjutant at the time he was wounded, and was gazetted lieutenant two days before his death.