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Family’s heartbreak at loss of brave brother just months before end of World War One

BAD NEWS: The official letter informing the family that William Webster had been killed in action

BAD NEWS: The official letter informing the family that William Webster had been killed in action

ROBERT may have survived the Bombardment of Hartlepool and later crawled through dead bodies to rejoin his regiment after twice being wounded in the head on the Western Front.

But his younger brother, Private William Webster, was not so fortunate and was killed in action just five months before the end of the conflict.

Mr Webster’s scrapbook includes the official death notification sent to his parents by the British Army.

While the letter offers a fascinating insight into how families learned of their loved ones’ tragic fate, it includes only scant details about William’s death in June 1918.

The Websters later learned that William, who was only 21 and serving with the Cheshire Regiment, had been killed at Bligny, near Rheims, France, and was buried in the nearby Marfaux British Cemetery.

Robert himself was told of his brother’s death while recovering from his head injuries in hospital.

Mr Webster said: “My father felt so sad about his brother and lucky that he himself had managed to survive.

“His parents had lost one son in action and had another badly injured.

“They were no different to many parents during the war and others had suffered far worse misfortune.”

 

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