The Brecon County Times 17 April 1919

Report in The Brecon County Times 17 April 1919 regarding the death of Joseph Groom

“The death took place at Welshpool on the 5th inst., under peculiarly sad circumstances of Regimental-Sergt.-Major Joseph Groom, of the 1st Battalion Shropshire Light Infantry. Only 23 years of age when he died, Sergt.-Major Groom had a wonderful war record, yet a record such as one would expect of a soldier who was known in his regiment for his dash and bravery and was esteemed accordingly by all ranks. When the war broke out the deceased, then a sergeant, was stationed with his battalion in Tipperary. He went to France with his unit as part of the original British Expeditionary Force, and was there till the beginning of 1917. During those fateful two and a half years he was twice wounded and won the Distinguished Conduct Medal; and also helped to prove the adaptability of the British soldier by ranking as a first class machine-gunner. Transferred to home service as a staff-sergeant, he was not long content, and volunteered to serve in German East Africa, where he was sent in April, 1917. There he was once more wounded, and during twelve months’ hard service was advanced to the rank of company-sergt.-major. He came home again in April, 1918, on two months’ leave; but by June was on his way to West Africa. Whilst there he was promoted regimental-sergt.-major, after nine years service with the Colours – (he joined as a boy) – and once more returned home at the end of February last.

In March, 1917, he married at Pembroke, Miss Edith Mabel Delonra, of Brecon. He and his wife were spending part of a holiday at Welshpool, where on the 5th inst. he was suddenly taken ill. He died on the 7th inst., of blackwater fever, contracted in West Africa.

On Wednesday, the 9th inst., after a short service at the house, the body was taken with military honours to Welshpool station for conveyance to Brecon. A large number of local service men home on leave marched to the station, and the greatest possible respect was shown by the inhabitants.

The funeral took place at Brecon on Friday afternoon, with full military honours. Troops from the Brecon Depot attended under the command of Lieut. Parry, and the band of the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers (conducted by Mr. C. Fenner, L.R.A.M.) played Chopin’s ‘Marche Funebre’ and the ‘Dead March’ from ‘Saul’ on the way to the cemetery. The Rev. H. J. Church Jones took the burial service, and at the close the usual volleys were fired over the grave and the ‘Last Post’ was sounded to band accompaniment.

The chief mourners were the widow; Mr and Mrs Parker, Malpas, Cheshire, brother-in-law and sister; Mrs Mytton, Welshpool, sister; Mrs Delonra, Brecon, mother-in-law; Mrs Morris, Brecon, sister-in-law; Pte W. and Mrs Thomas, brother-in-law and sister; Mrs Jack Williams, Brecon, sister-in-law; Master Harry Delonra, brother-in-law; Mrs Power, Brecon and Mr W. Power, aunt and cousin; Pte J. Morris, Pte Prosser, and Mr and Mrs Cliff, Brecon.

Wreaths were sent by the following – The widow, Mr and Mrs Parker, Mrs Mytton, Mrs Delonra and family, the Sergeants’ mess at the Brecon Depot South Wales Borderers, Mrs Power and son, Mrs Jack Williams, Mrs Morris, Mr and Mrs Cliff, Pte W. and Mrs Thomas, Miss Gladys Delonra, Miss Dora Hargest, Master Steve Thomas, master Jim Morris and Master Dorie O’Shea.”

The Brecon County Times 17 April 1919

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