Wednesday, 11 June 2014

THE SADNESS OF THE BUNDOCKS

Nineteen year-old Bill Bundock was killed in action on September 19, 1918. Bill's father Alfred had died in May that year. His older brother, also Alfred, never returned to active duty after being shot in the abdomen during the Battle of Arras in 1917. 

(55) Pte G/23762 William BUNDOCK 8th Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment).   (Westmarsh War Memorial). 

William Bundock (‘Bill’ to his friends and family,) was the son of Alfred Mark and Mary Ann Bundock, of Downfield Cottages, at Ware, in Ash.  He was born in Canterbury, one of seven children and educated at Westmarsh School.  Before the war he worked as a farm labourer in Ash.  He enlisted in The Buffs at Canterbury. 

Bill Bundock


Alfred Bundock, one of his brothers served in 6th Battalion The Buffs, having enlisted on 16th November 1915, and was wounded on 8th May 1917 during the Battle of Arras.  He was shot in the lower abdomen, and did not return to active service. Before leaving for France, Bill wrote to Alfred from Hillsborough Barracks, Sheffield, telling him he was going home on leave for the last time prior to going out just before Christmas.  
His father, Alfred Mark Bundock, died on 12th May 1918. 
Bill was killed in action on 2nd September 1918, aged 19.  Lieutenant Joseph Hall, the officer commanding ‘B’ Company, wrote to his mother:
“It is with deepest sympathy that I write to you concerning the death of your son Private 23762 Bundock W.J.  He was killed last Sunday afternoon whilst manning his Lewis Gun in front of our line, during a patrol action. It will no doubt be of some consolation to you in your sad loss to know he was killed instantly, and so did not suffer.  He was a very willing and hard working soldier, always so attentive to his duties, and was one of our expert Lewis Gunners.
"His loss to the Company is a great one, but to you the loss is infinitely greater. I sincerely sympathise with you in your great loss, for I know you have had so much grief and sorrow to bear quite recently [presumably referring to her husband’s death in May]. The commanding Officer wishes me to express to you his deepest sympathy.”
He is commemorated on Vis-en-Artois Memorial, near Arras. (Panel 3).