Recognition for Rushden Guardsman 100 years on from his death

Lance Sgt Head's name is not featured on Rushden War Memorial
Lance Sgt Head's name is not featured on Rushden War Memorial

A Grenadier Guard who served during World War One but does not feature on his town’s war memorial will be honoured 100 years on from his death.

Lance Sergeant William Head died on October 30, 1917, aged 29 and has a grave in Rushden Cemetery.

He had nine years of service and served more than two years on the Western Front, but Lance Sgt Head is not listed as killed in action and does not feature on his town’s war memorial.

After a member of the county branch of the Grenadier Guards Association discovered a grave in Rushden for Lance Sgt Head, they decided to mark 100 years since his death.

Mike Britton, secretary of the Northamptonshire branch, said: “Lance Sgt Head is not featured on the local war memorial as lost in action, but it appears that he served in Europe, caught an infection whilst in the trenches, was brought back to the UK and subsequently died, so he is not listed as killed in action, and not featured on the local war memorial - which I am led to believe is quite a common event.

“On 30 October 2017, members of the Northamptonshire branch, Grenadier Guards Association, intend to hold a ceremony to commemorate Lance Sgt Head’s passing as a token to all fallen service personnel of the First World War from Northamptonshire, in particular those not officially remembered.

“We have requested uniformed Guardsmen from Regimental Headquarters, Grenadier Guards, to be present at the ceremony.”

Records show that Grenadier Guards were present at the military funeral for Lance Sgt Head.

A firing party of 32 men from the Northampton depot were present and paid the soldier a final tribute by firing three volleys over the grave.

For more information about Lance Sgt Head’s life as recorded by the Rushden Research group, click here

The ceremony to commemorate 100 years since the death of Lance Sgt Head will be held at Rushden Cemetery on Monday (October 30).

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to meet at Rushden Cemetery for the short ceremony which starts at 3pm.

It will be followed by a graveside ceremony, which starts at 3.30pm.