Saturday 7 May 2016

Another Leighton Hero Gone

Hockliffe Street Baptist Church

Sunday 7th May 1916: Sadly mourned by all his chums, George Keen, younger son of Mr and Mrs T Keen of 1 Ashwell-street, Leighton Buzzard, has found a soldier’s grave in France(1). The news has come that on May 4th he died of wounds received in the action we mentioned on 5th May. He was a private in a grenade company of the 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and was only twenty years of age.

Private keen was a Leighton lad and was educated at the British School. Later he went to work for the London and North Western Railway Company at Watford, his father being with the company. On the outbreak of war he joined the colours at Bedford and had been for a long time in France. Mrs Keen, who is his step-mother expected him him home on leave the other day but instead received a letter telling her the sad news. Only the day before he died Mrs Keen received a letter from him saying they were back in the trenches and that he was in good health. Later came a letter from Corporal Dudley, his chum, as follows: “Allow me to express the heartfelt sympathy of all the lads who have made the acquaintance on George who died of wounds on 4th. It may make your terrible grief a little more bearable to know that he died as a soldier, not feeling much pain. He was a willing lad and I am exceedingly sorry to be the bearer of such painful news. I can assure you that all that can be done was done”. Private Keen had been connected with the Hockliffe-street Baptist Sunday school

Source: Luton News 1st June 1916

(1) Saint-Amand British Cemetery

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