GALLERY: First Chatteris soldier to die in First World War remembered in service led by Royal British Legion youth members

Chelsea Belfield-Pearson reads Rupert Brooke’s poem The Soldier. Picture: SAMUEL TOLLEY. Chelsea Belfield-Pearson reads Rupert Brooke’s poem The Soldier. Picture: SAMUEL TOLLEY.

Thursday, August 28, 2014
11:20 AM

Three youth members of Chatteris Royal British Legion led a service to remember the first Chatteris solider to lose his life during the First World War.

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The service, which was held at the Chatteris War Memorial at just after 7pm on Tuesday, commemorated the life of Private Tom Seekings, who died 100 years ago to the day aged just 20 years and four months.

Fifteen year old Brandon Sharp read out the Exhortation and orchestrated the minute’s silence, before speaking to the audience about Tom, who had served with the 2nd Suffolk Battalion.

This was followed by the reading of Rupert Brooke’s poem The Solider by 14 year old Chelsea Belfield-Pearson.

The service was concluded when 13 year old Kane Seal placed a wooden cross in Tom’s memory at the foot of the memorial’s centrepiece.

A small temporary sign has been attached to the memorial gate with Tom’s details on. More signs will be added as the anniversary of the other soldiers deaths arrive.

Tom Seeking is listed as living in Chatteris’ Wood Street and working as a farm labourer in 1911.

He was in uniform prior to the outbreak of war and was sent to France in the first weeks of the conflict.

Tom was one of 720 of his battalion comrades who were killed, wounded or missing from heavy fighting on August 26, 1914. Heartbreakingly, Tom’s family were led to believe that he was a prisoner of war and it wasn’t until 14 months later that they were to discover he was missing, presumed dead.

He received the Victory and Star medals and is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial in France.

In total, 160 servicemen from Chatteris are known to have died during the First World War.

The next service will take place at 7pm on October 26 to remember George Palmer of the 1st Grenadier Guards.

For more details search Facebook for Chatteris Royal British Legion or the Chatteris Remembers Group.

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