Grimsby Newspapers
Grimsby boy was "bravest of all"
Grimsby Independent, 28 Jan 1943, p. 1,8

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
28 Jan 1943
Personal Name(s):
Carlton, John
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.20011 Longitude: -79.56631
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Full Text

From a British medical officer, prisoner of war in a German military hospital, Mrs. Sarah Carlton, North Grimsby, has received a letter telling of the death and funeral of her son, Pte. John Carlton, of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, who was taken prisoner at Dieppe and died in the enemy hospital from wounds suffered in the Dieppe engagement.

"Throughout the time he was with us," the officer wrote, "he showed a consistent gallantry that, for my part, I would rate far higher than any possible act of bravery in the field."

The letter, written November 26 and received last week, follows:

"Dear Mrs. Carlton: I am afraid that by the time this letter reaches you, you will have received official intimation that your son, Jack Carlton, died at this hospital in (censored) three days ago. He was buried this morning at Neininjen with full military honours in the cemetery above the town under the trees. Wreaths were laid on the grave from the patients and the R.A.M.C., while the officer commanding the German firing party laid one on behalf of the Wehrmacht. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded. The general party included English regular officers, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and French, in addition to medical officers and orderlies. Your son came here a week after Dieppe. He had a compound fracture of his leg and a wound that blinded him in one eye. He had a series of hemorrhages in this leg and ultimately it had to be amputated high up. Later he developed nephritis and had further hemorrhages. Finally pneumonia set in. He had, in all, six blood transfusions.

"But why I really wished to write to you was because I thought it might be a little comfort to you to know that throughout the time he was with us, he showed a consistent gallantry that, for my part, I would rate far higher than any act of bravery in the field. He loved to have someone sit and talk to him, and since all who knew him loved him, he was very seldom alone. In particular, Sergeant Burborough, the wardmaster, in spite of his normal hard day's work, latterly made his bed up beside him (though there was always a night orderly) of his own free will so that he might never feel lonely or want for anything. The last thing he said was that he was sorry he was such a lot of trouble. I have seen a good may wounded now from Dunkirk onwards, but your son was the bravest of them all. Please will you accept the most sincere sympathy of all here who were privileged to know him. (Signed) Philip Forsyth, Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps."

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Grimsby boy was "bravest of all"