Private Bert Mitchell (4213)

1/8th Bn, The Worcestershire Regiment, 144th Brigade, 48th Division, T.F., B.E.F.

Malvern Commemoration: Malvern Library,

Burial/Commemoration: Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps

Nature of Death: Killed in action Serre, Somme, France 6/3/1916

Cap badge of the Worcestershire Regiment

Bert Mitchell, who was well known in Malvern was killed while on sentry duty in a front line position opposite Serre by a gun shot wound to the head. The regimental history describes these trenches as “deep, gloomy [and] infested with rats.”

On 14th March 1916, the Worcester Daily Times reported:

“Mr C Mitchell of 114 Astwood Road, Worcester, Post Office Inspector of Telephones, has received news of the death of his son, Pte Bert Mitchell, a member of the 8th Battalion Worcestershire Regt.  His Commanding Officer, Colonel Peake, writing to Mr Mitchell, says:-

“’I very much regret to inform you that your son, Pte B Mitchell, of this Battalion was killed on the evening of the 6th inst.  He was on sentry in the front line trenches and was hit on the head by a bullet, so death was instantaneous.  He was buried on the night of the 7th in our military cemetery, immediately behind our portion of the line.  I very much regret his loss, as he was a good soldier, and I deeply sympathise with you.’

“The Chaplain of the Regiment, the Revd Frank S Neatfield, has also written to Mr Mitchell, saying:

“’We laid his body to rest last night (in the dark, for fear of shells, and amid snow), with the rights of the Church.  A letter to me at Christ Church, Oxford, after the war is over, will secure full particulars of the place of the grave.  May the Master Who has called him to a higher service elsewhere give you His own true comfort.’”

Deceased’s parents has two letters from him last week.  He was 23 years of age last October.  Before enlisting he was employed in the smith’s shop at the Vulcan Works.  He joined the 8th Battalion last Easter Tuesday, was with the force at Malvern and left Portsmouth on the 2nd of last month; so he had only a brief experience of the front.

Malvern News 18/3/16
Stacke, Capt H FitzM The Worcesteshire Regiment in the Great War Kidderminster 1921

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