1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Frank Hutchinson

Contributed by: Richard Irvine, on 2008-11-11

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First Name Frank
Surname Hutchinson
Year of Birth 1895
Year of Death 1918
Regiment Royal Berkshire Regiment
Place of Wartime Residence Stockton on Tees, Durham

Frank's Story

My great uncle fought his way through the Great War only to die in the most cruel of circumstances on the 18th December 1918 at the small village of Desnie in Belguim, where he is laid to rest alongside four of his fellow comrades.

He died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning when he and his colleagues made a wooden shelter in the woods just outside the village of Desnie as they desperately tried to avoid the freezing cold weather of 1918. It is reported that they were all unaware that the war had ended in the November of that year. As they sat inside their makeshift shelter, they lit a fire in order to keep themselves warm, and as they all fell off to sleep, the smoke from the fire descended on them and they were all consumed by the posoinous fumes. The locals in the village of Desnie found their bodies in the Forest, and they were taken to the local cemetry and laid to rest. Their graves have pride of place within the cemetry.

What a tragic loss of life which outlines so clearly, the sheer futility of War . To have survived the War and its many challenges, only to die in the most bizarre of circumstances, is so very very sad.

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