PRIVATE CHARLES HENRY KENWARD
15TH DECEMBER 1916 AGE 23
BURIED: COMBLES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
I love this inscription - Private Kenward's wife doesn't say "still loved, still missed, still mine", which is how people usually phrase this sentiment in newspaper 'In Memoriam' columns, but "still living, still loving, still mine", a fiercely positive assertion that death has not changed anything.
I haven't been able to find the cause of Kenward's death but the 3rd Battalion's War Diary (NB Kenward served in the 2nd Battalion in roughly the same area) gives an indication of conditions:
11 December 1916
Condition of the trenches indescribable. Men had to be dug out on the way up and in the trench by far the majority had to stand in mud above the knee, some with it above the waist. ...
12 - 14 December 1916
The weather conditions got still worse. It was intensely cold and the rain was punctuated with scuds of snow and sleet. ...
The men were in the most exhausted condition, being encased in mud up to their armpits and wet through. ...
... Some men who had been pulled out of the mud had lost their boots and in one case a man was dug and pulled out and then found deficient of his boots, socks and trousers.