Wilfred Dexter Rees 29 May 1918

Wilfred Dexter Rees was born in Kettering on the last day of 1897. As a Laxton School boarder from 1909 until 1912, he was part of a generation of boys who saw Laxton School flourish and develop in the benign shadow of Oundle School. 

At the end of May 1918, with their attacks on the Somme and the Lys petering out, it was in this area, in the so-called Battle of the Aisne, that the Germans opened up their new attack. Ironically, many of the British troops, like Wilfred Rees, had recently been sent to this normally quiet sector of the front for rest and recuperation after the earlier German Offensives. 

He was a private in the Machine Gun Corps and was killed, aged just 20, on 29 May 1918 near Soissons on the Western Front. His body was never found, so he is remembered on the Soissons Memorial, which commemorates over 4,000 officers and men killed in this area in 1918 who have no known grave. 

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow