Final letter for Holbeach widow and son

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Two towns – Spading and Bourne – had been “made the poorer” by the death of Sgt A A Kingsford, it was reported 100 years ago.

Sgt Kingsford (29), who had died at the Dardanelles, had many friends in both towns and was formerly Bourne County Court clerk. He was said to take the lead “in anything and everything”.

His wife, living in Fish Pond Lane, Holbeach, with their little boy, had received a letter from the Rev Cyril Mayne, chaplain on board HMS Gascon, giving her more information about his death.

He wrote that Sgt Kingsford had come aboard the ship with a wound in the liver.

He continued: “I buried him today at sea three miles off Gaba Tepe. I saw him often in the last two days. He was so very brave and patient in his weakness. He sent you his love and died like a soldier.”

On the same day Mrs Kingsford also received a letter from her husband, and the reporter wrote: “It was characteristic of the man. In it, self was obliterated, it was a homely chat to his wife, in which her welfare and that of the little son seemed to be his sole consideration.”

Mr Kingsford was well-known in Bourne, having worked for many years in the County Court department of Mr C W Bell.

On the outbreak of war be believed it his duty to fight for his country and, being Welsh, joined the Welsh Regiment.

His previous experience in the Bourne Territorials quickly brought him promotion to the rank of sergeant.

A brilliant musician and singer, he was always in evidence at concerts, where “as a comedian he was always sure of a hearty welcome”.

He had earned several certificates for singing and played a leading role in Bourne Cricket Club, where he was instrumental in getting the new pavilion built.