|CULLOMPTON DEVONS KILLED IN MESOPOTAMIA - FEBRUARY 1917
From The Crediton Chronicle (who also published the information given below)
24 February 1917
"Mesopotamia, once a land of fertility and abundant life, now a region of barrenness and desolation, is being slowly but surely conquered by Great Britain at a great price. Many precious lives - including some very dear to Tiverton people - have been laid down there since the war began.
In the heavy fighting which has been going on of late round Kut-al-Amara there have been many casualties, and the names of many natives of Cullompton are in the lists of killed and wounded. Among them were several young soldiers all about the sama age who were companions and friends from childhood. They went to school together, joined up about the same time, went to India, and thence to Mesopotamia in one party, and apparently were all killed in the same action."
PRIVATE W. D. BASTONE
Private William D. Bastone of the Devons, who was killed in Mesopotamia on February 3rd, was born on the day of the Diamond Jubilee 1897 and so was aged 19. He was the only son of ex-Corporal D. Bastone of the 4th Devons, who is chauffeur to Dr. Gidley (late Captain of "G" Company). Private Bastone was associated with the Cullompton Company when it was the "A" Company of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Devon Regiment when he was barely ten years of age, being a member of the bugle band that was, at that time, augmenting the company band. As time went on, he became bugler in the Battalion and a cornet player in the band.
In his first year of bearing arms he showed great interest in, and ability for, musketry, and at the prize shoot at the end of last year, he scored sufficient points at the Broadhembury Range to secure fourth place in the company which then stood about 100 strong and held in its ranks some very good marksmen. In India his musketry still further improved and he became the best shot in the double Company.
As a schoolboy, he achieved a "possible" with his attendances, having never missed one nor been late during his 10½ years at the Cullompton School. As a bugler he was always exact and punctual with his calls, and as a soldier his smartness and keenness were exemplary.
In Mesopotamia the hardships they all had to endure ( and no doubt still are enduring) have been more than we can well imagine home here, but Private Bastone's letters were always cheerful and at no time contained any grumble. Before going to India, Private Bastone had been apprenticed to Messrs Earland, coachbuilders.
SERGEANT J. H. EALES
Mr. and Mrs. H. Eales of Exeter Road, Cullompton, have been officially notified of the death of their eldest son, Sergeant John H. Eales of the Devons, who was killed in action in Mesopotamia on February 3rd.
Sergeant Eales was well-known and highly respected in Cullompton previous to his departure. He took an active part in matters appertaining to the welfare of the town. As a member of the Cullompton Fire Brigade, a ringer and in many other spheres of usefulness, his genial disposition and courteous behaviour made him a great favourite.
He was an active working member of Court Chevy Chase Ancient Order of the Foresters, having passed through all the offices of the branch; he was Chief Ranger at the Court for several years. At the time of his departure for India, he was the Senior Woodward of the Court. Much sympathy is extended to his parents and relatives by his fellow members. His age was 33 years.
PRIVATE H. WEST
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. West have been officially notified of the death of their only son, Private Harold West, who was killed in action in Mesopotamia on February 3rd.
Previous to going to India, he was an apprentice at the International Stores. His death is the second from that place of business, Private E. Richards, the manager, was killed in France in April last. Private West was only 19 years of age.