Corby Council to commemorate two fallen First World War soldiers

The Corby Cube.
The Corby Cube.

Corby Council will be commemorating two soldiers on the 100th anniversary of their death by raising a flag outside the Corby Cube.

On Saturday (June 3) the council will be remembering Private John Gunnell.

John was born in Uppingham in 1895 and was shown on the 1901 Census to be living in Gretton and by 1911 in Newton near Geddington.

John had joined his step-father, Robert, working as an ironstone laborour.

John Gunnell’s service record has not survived.

It is known that he enlisted in Kettering and served as a Private (G/13432) in The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

Private John Gunnell died as a prisoner of war at Soltau Camp (Lager Soltau) in Lower Saxony on June 3, 1917.

Soltau was the largest German prisoner of war camp of the First World War, constructed in 1914.

When or where John Gunnell was taken prisoner is currently unknown, as are the exact circumstances of his death.

Private John Gunnell is buried at the Hamburg Military Cemetery and commemorated on the Gretton War Memorial.

On Sunday (June 4) the council will be remembering Private James Simpson.

James was born in 1883 and in 1891 was recorded to be living in Garden House, Mill Road, Cottingham. James was a farm labourer.

James Simpson served as a Private (15148) in the 6th (Service) Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. He enlisted in Kettering.

The Battalion mobilised and arrived in France on July 26, 1915.

Private Simpson was with the Battalion at that time.

The Battalion was to serve on the Western Front for the duration of the War.

Private James Simpson was killed in action on June 4, 1917.

He is buried in Rookery British Cemetery, Heninel, and commemorated on the Cottingham/Middleton War Memorial.