Herbert Hopkin Rees

St Bees Dead of the First World War
Roll of Honour
Herbert Hopkin Rees
8th Bn Border Regiment
Killed in Action Arras 1918, aged 30

From the ‘Whitehaven News’ 11 th April, 1918

REES – In loving memory of Private H.H. Rees, Border Regiment, beloved son of S. Elizabeth Rees, Main Street, St.Bees, killed in action March 22nd, aged 31 years.

A loving husband, a father kind,
He will be missed, but kept in mind,
He’s gone to where there’s no more care;
God grant that we may meet him there.
Had he asked us, well we know
We should cry, Oh spare this blow;
Yes, with streaming eyes should pray,
Lord, we love him, let him stay.
Do not ask me if I miss him, There is such a vacant place,
Shall I e’re forget his footsteps, Or his dear familiar face.

His Wife and Children.

Letter from 2nd Lieut. W C. Preston * to Mrs. H. H. Rees – March 1918

“Dear Mrs. Rees,

It is with the deepest sympathy that I write to inform you of the death of your husband, No. 25266, Private H.H. Rees. He was killed instantly by a German shell which burst in the trench on 22nd. March. For a time he was in my platoon, and I shall miss him greatly. These things are hard to bear, but it will be some consolation to you to know that he died the death of a good soldier.

You must realise that after all death is but the gateway to that higher life which no doubt your husband fully realised. This being so, try to comfort yourself, knowing that he is in far happier surroundings, where all trouble is a thing of the past. Please believe me that you have my very sincere sympathy, and that of every officer and man in the Company.”

* 2nd Lieutenant William Carter Preston, who came from Far Sawrey, near Ambleside, was himself killed within three weeks of writing this letter. Like Private Rees, he has no known grave.

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