Died 22nd August 1915
The sad news has this week reached Mr. and Mrs. Isaiah Shrubsall, of 62 Charlotte Street, Milton Regis, informing them that their younger son Reuben, who was 26 years of age, and who was serving in the 2nd Battalion, The Buffs, has met with his death on the battlefield. While carrying water to his comrades in the trenches, the young man was mortally wounded by a German sniper's bullet, and died twenty minutes afterwards. His death occurred on August 21st 1915. Private Reuben Shrubsall was a native of Milton, Where his family have resided for many years. Before the war he was a barge captain, being skipper of the Glasgow, owned by Messrs Wills and Packham,Ltd, Sittingbourne. He was held in high esteem by the firm. Much sympathy is felt for the sorrowing parents and other members of the family in their bereavement.
St. Quentin Cabaret Cemetery
The deceased young man, answering his country's call, joined Kitchener's Army last January, and after three months training was sent to the 2nd Battalion of the Buffs. The following letter to the family, signed by two of the young mans' comrades, who are also Miltonians, narrates the circumstances under which the young Milton hero met with his death:-
Dear Mrs Shrubsall, and all of you,
We take this opportunity to write you a few lines and are sorry to have to send you such bad news about poor Reuben. The Doctor told us he has written to you, so we thought a few words from us one or two who are left would be a bit of comfort to you.
Reuben was killed on the 21st August, about 10 o'clock at night. He was fetching water for his mates in the trenches. We have a carrying party to fetch food and water up to the firing line, and poor Reuben was hit in the stomach. There is always a risk attached to everything we do out here. Someone is losing his life every hour of the day and night. We were with him the night before he went into the trenches. We are stretcher bearers, but we have to stop in the trenches. So we were not there at the time he was hit.He was buried at our headquarters, we had him put in a nice place under some trees, with about ten more of our chaps, all in separate graves. He had a proper funeral service read over him. The Major said a few words about him. He was very sorry to lose him, he was a good soldier, and one who could be trusted. So you have one comfort, knowing that he died doing his duty for you and his country. We shall miss him very much ,and you have all our sympathy in your sad bereavement. We hope God will comfort you in your old age. His last words were, "Please let my poor old mother and father know." He only lived 20 minutes after he was hit,and he was conscious right up to the time he died. We can promise you that all the time we are spared we will see that his grave is kept done up. His memory will always be with us. I (spice) am writing this for myself and Kingsnorth, for we still keep together. But we never know when our turn will be next. We can only keep going, and doing our bit for our wives and children,and leave the rest to the Almighty.
I have just been to see Sergeant of the Medical Station, who told me that everything that was in his pockets would be handed over to the Doctor, who will forward it on to you.-
E W SPICE,W F KINGSNORTH.
(courtesy East Kent Gazette)
Reuben Died Sunday 22nd August 1915, age 26 and is buried at St Quentin Cabaret Cemetery,Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen Belgium.