As we pause this Armistice Day and remember 100 years since the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, I wanted to share the story of one local World War One soldier whose story I was recently alerted to.
Swinefleet lad, John Duesbery, served with the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He died on 15th September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. In a heartbreaking find after his death, his notebook was found containing a letter he had written to his mother whilst lying gravely wounded in a shell hole.
I wanted to share that heartbreaking letter and his story so that we can all pause today and remember the sacrifice of all those who have served our nation in defence of our freedom and democracy.
The notebook made its way back to his mother in France, but his body was never recovered. Here are John's words -
I am writing these few of lines gravely wounded, we have done well our Batt advanced about 3 quarters of a mile. I am laid in a shell hole with 2 wounds in my hip and through my back. I cannot move or crawl. I have been here for 24 hrs and never seen a living soul. I hope you will receive these few of lines a I don't expect anyone will come to take me away, but you know I have done my duty out here now for 1 yr and 8 months and you will always have the consolation that I died quite happy doing my duty. Please give my Best of Love to all cousins who as been so kind to me time I have been out here. And the Best of love to Mother and Harry & all at Swinefleet xx"
John Duesbery is remembered on the memorial in Swinefleet and also on the Thiepval Memorial in France.
We Will Remember Them.