Spalding Territorial killed in 1915

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This newspaper reported that there had been more casualties with a Spalding Territorial killed and another wounded.

The Territorials were reported in 1915 as “defending a heavily besieged line” at the front.

During their last spell of duty in the trenches, one Spalding man had been killed outright, and another wounded.

Pte Fred Maxwell, of Queen’s Road, Spalding, was the man who lost his life, and Pte Day, of Crescent Gardens, Spalding, was wounded.

News of the tragedy was told by Pte James, of Chapel Lane, Spalding, who was home on five days’ leave. It was also his duty to inform the relatives of the fallen men.

On the day it happened, the enemy made “a terrific artillery bombardment on the line of trenches held by the Spalding lads”.

The working parties behind the trench line immediately made for the dug outs, and Pte James says if they hadn’t done so they would probably all have been “wiped out”.

Pte Day was struck in the head by a piece of shell, and had to be taken away to hospital.

Pte James said his colleague, Pte Maxwell, was caught either by a stray bullet or a shot from a sniper. The bullet entered his head, and death was instantaneous.

His body had been laid to rest in a cemetery nearby.

Pte Maxwell was aged just 19 and had only gone out to the front about three weeks earlier.

Pte James reported that during the attack the Territorials were “also treated to a dose of poison gas”, but as they were wearing their respirators, none suffered serious effects. However, most of them complained of their eyes being sore afterwards.

Otherwise he said they were “fine”, and playing cricket during rest spells.