Private William Thring Killed In France

Andover Advertiser [December]1917

DIED FOR HIS COUNTRY – The sympathy of a wide circle of friends goes out this week to Mr and Mrs F.W. Thring, of the Post Office, on the news just received of the death in France of their eldest son Private William Henry Thring. Two years ago Private Thring joined up with the East Surreys, and for the last 19 months he has been in France and has seen much heavy fighting. Strangely enough he was home on leave three weeks ago, and he left home with a very cheerful spirit. During an attack on Beaudricourt on November 20th  he was wounded in the chest and died at the clearing station two days later. The following beautiful letter was written by his company officer, which says much for the esteem in which the deceased was held :-

7th East Surreys

My dear Mr Thring, – It is with deepest regret that I write to inform you of the death of your boy, who for so long has been my devoted servant and personal friend. Since he went home on leave – I have not seen him at all. I expect he told you that I was going on leave shortly, and now I have returned to find that the Battalion has been in another attack and your boy went over the top with them and got wounded in the chest. He went over on Tuesday last, the 20th , and your son was hit and taken back to the casualty clearing station. He died there on the 22nd  at a place called Tincourt, and was buried there in the British military cemetery. It is not far from Peronne. We have spent hours together in the trenches, and had many and many a confidential chat. He was a faithful as well as a brave fellow, and I loved him, and never tired of sounding his praises. It will indeed be a long time before I feel the same after this loss, which is a mutual one to us both. I trust you may be comforted by the thought that he played his full share in this terrible struggle. He never missed a “show” and never failed with us when men of his stamp were most needed, and he never “went sick” in all the weary months he was over here. He was indeed a splendid chap. In this your great sorrow I am anxious to tender you my most sincere sympathy.

– yours sincerely


Besides the official notification from the War Office the Chaplain of the Clearing Station has written a cheerful letter saying that Private Thring died cheerfully and bravely. – Another son Sergeant Frederick George Thring who had won a commission is about to be discharged from the Australian Forces with a shattered foot, the result of wounds  received at Pozieres. This son was in Australia when war was declared, he joined up on 5th  August 1914, and was fighting on 19th . He has seen much service in German New Guinea, in Gallipoli and Egypt, and lastly on the Continent. We join in sympathy with the relatives in their loss.




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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.

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