|Private George Fitton|
East Lancashire Regiment,
Killed in France,
31st December 1915,
Buried St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery Richebourg-L'Avoue.
Private George Fitton of the 7th East Lancashire Regiment, a Haslingden man who enlisted shortly after the outbreak of the war, is reported killed in action, and a sympathetic letter from his officer, Mr. McInnes, to the wife of the deceased, states that while in service with a trench mortar battery, and while returning from the renches on the evening of December 31st, 1915, he came under enemy machine gun fire and was shot through the head, his death being painless and instantaneous.
He was a very hard working member of the battery and popular among his comrades, who deeply regret his death and send their sympathy by the correspondent. Private Fitton, who was twenty four years of age, enlisted on September 4th, 1914. He was transferred to France in the first week of July 1915. The deceased has another brother, Driver Thomas Fitton, serving in the B.Batt., Howitzer Brigade, R.F.A., while his father, Sergt. Joseph Fitton, is on duty at a prisoners camp in Lancashire. The wife of the deceased has been the recipient of many letters from his comrades in the trenches, speaking of his good qualities as a heroic British soldier, who was ever a hard working, loyal and true comrade, determined under all circumstances to do his part for home, King and country, for which he sacrificed his life.
He fought and died nobly as he had lived. He is survived by his widow and one child (an infant).
He was associated with the Townsend Street Christian Mission, at which a memorial service will be held on Sunday evening week, January 30th, to which all friends and relatives are invited.
Prior to enlistment he worked as a weaver at the Commercial Mill.
At the Haslingden Christian Mission, Townsend Street, on Sunday evening last, a most impressive service was held in memory of the late Private George Fitton, of the 7th East Lancashire Regiment, who lost his life in France on New Year's Eve. There was a very large and appreciative congregation, who listened with rapt attention to the very pointed and earnest remarks made by Mr. J. Singleton upon the subject, "A good soldier of Jesus Christ" (II. Timothy, 2,3). He indicated the characteristics of a good, loyal and true soldier, who would never shirk his duty nor yet lay down arms until either the foe was conquered or he himself slain in the brave attempt.
Much was said concerning the importance of good and brave soldiers, especially during the present crisis, when so much is at stake. The speaker reasoned out that just as good soldiers were needed to fight for King and our beloved Homeland; so were good and brave soldiers of Jesus Christ needed to uphold the honour of the Christian cause and to fight manfully the great evils of sin which so much abound in our midst. An appeal was made as to who were going to take the places of the young men who had left our Sabbath schools and our places of worship. Just a brief reference was very truthfully made concerning the departed brother, showing how he had right away from the outbreak of war cherished the idea of duty to his country and King, and of how he without fear left his home and friends for that purpose, dreading not death if he could but accomplish his duty to the fullest extent, and this he did in as much as he nobly shed his life's blood and nobly died at his post of duty, "For greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." His last message home was, "My trust is in God," hence an appeal was made to the bereaved, "That ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."
Miss M.J. Tattersall, of Haslingden, sang "Nearer my God to Thee," which was very effectively rendered. An orchestral band very efficiently accompanied the singing throughout the service, and at the close played the "Dead March" in "Saul," which was well and effectively rendered, under the leadership of Mr. George H. Haughton.
An expression of thanks is hereby tendered to all friends and relatives who assembled in such large numbers to pay the last tribute of honour and respect to our departed comrade.
In loving memory of our dear Son, Pte. George Fitton, 13266, who was killed in action, December 31st, 1915 in France.
"There'e a lonely grave in France,
Where a brave young hero sleeps;
There's a cottage home in England,
Where a mother sits and weeps.
When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave;
We little thought how soon he'd be,
Laid in a soldier's grave."
From Father and Mother, Sister and Brothers.
"We often think of days gone by,
When we were altogether;
A shadow o'er our life is cast,
A dear one gone for ever."
From his Mother and Father, Sister and Brothers.
|Pte George Fitton - Census certificate|
(Click over to enlarge)