Private David Westacott, 16th Platoon, D Coy., 2/6 Gloucester Regiment, fell in action on August 28, 1917, agd 35. Educated at Grange National School, Cardiff, Westacott was one of the first Welsh Rugby Internationals to join the Colours, which he did in November 15, 1914. After training at Woolwich he went to France in February 1915, returning for his first short leave a year later. His next return was when he came back wounded on August 23, 1916, when, after he had had 10 days at home in November, he was stationed at Maidstone and Sittingbourne for eight months, and then returned to the Front to meet a soldier’s death. To his widow came the following note of sympathy from the Officer Commanding his Company:
“ I much regret to inform you of the death in action of your husband, Private Westacott, of my Company. He was killed by a shell in the support trenches on the 28th of last month. Death was instantaneous. He was buried in the proper manner the following day. I am very sorry indeed to lose him. He was a fine man, and one of the mainstay of the platoon. I had heard of his athletic Fame, and certainly died as he lived, a true sportsman. Please accept my most sincere sympathy. Signed C.M. Hughes Games, O.C. “D” Coy, 2/6 Gloster Regt. “
B.E.F , September 2, 1917
I have, unfortunately , not been able to obtain any particulars of Westacott’s football career, but he was a foreward who played well enough in the Cardiff pack to win a Welsh Cap against Ireland in 1906, in that memorable game won by Ireland at Belfast, when playing “too short” during the last quarter of an hour-both their half-backs, Liutenant-Colonel E. D. Caddell, R.A.M.C., M.C., and Major W. B. Purdon, R.A.M.C.,D.S.O., being off the field injured.
E. H. D. Sewell
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2015 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1919). SB.237 pp.+ photographic portraits of the fallen