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News > History & Politics > The Last 10 Fallen: Captain H J L Willink

The Last 10 Fallen: Captain H J L Willink

Died aged 34 of septic poisoning from wounds received at Famars, France

Died on 5 November 1918, aged 34 of septic poisoning from wounds received at Famars, near Valenciennes.

Capt. H. J. L. Willink PS (1898-1903) was the youngest son of Rev. Arthur Willink, and husband to Maye, eldest daughter of Colonel J. W. Weston, MP for South Westmorland.

Whilst at Tonbridge, he was for a time, Captain of the Boat Club, Captain of the XV, and in the Shooting VII. He was described as "a successful and popular captain" and "a three-quarter well above the average . . . with the great merit of running straight."

On leaving School, he also played on occasion for the Cambridge University XV and for Blackheath.

Soon after the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 16th (Public Schools) Service Battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own Middlesex Regiment at Kempton Park. In January 1915, he received a commission in the 6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) (Territorial Force). He was promoted Temporary Captain in September and, with this rank, was training men in England for nearly two years. He went to France as Acting Captain to the 9th (Service) Battalion in January 1917.

Whilst leading his men in the attack at Famars, near Valenciennes, on November 1st, 1918, he received a machine-gun bullet in the leg. He died of septic poisoning four days later.

His Colonel wrote to Mrs. Willink: "Your husband was leading his Company forward in the most gallant manner when he was hit, and it was largely owing to his excellent leadership that his Company did so very well and that our attack was such a success."

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