Victory in Sight

By kind permission of John King, Author

The turning point of the war in the West finally came on 18 July when there was a massive counter-offensive by the allies which was to culminate five months later in victory. The same day there was a sale of work in the Vicarage Garden at St Augustine’s, the proceeds again going to reduce the debt on the Church.

Inevitably there were to be more fatalities and 29 July saw two Grove Park men die in France. Walter Dalton had been an NCO until demoted for a kindness to one of his men. He subsequently found himself back in the front when he was killed in action with the 17th Royal Sussex Regiment. It was a double tragedy for his family who lived in Luffman Road and were active in the life of the parish. The late 2nd Lieut Bray who died in 1917 had been married to one of the Dalton girls.

The other death was that of Kenneth Wilson of the 51st Gordon Highlanders. During a big advance his officer was wounded and Kenneth carried him back to a dressing station. He was then told not to go back until the line was stabilised but he did and was not seen alive again. His younger brother, in the meantime, was undergoing training at St Leonards to be a pilot in the RAF. He was about to obtain his wings a few months later when the war ended.

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