FIRST Worcester War Victim – We regret to learn that Lieutenant Ralph Lessingham Spreckley (of the long established city brewery family), fourth son of Mr and Mrs H.W. Spreckley, has been killed in action.

His parents have received a telegram announcing to them the fact, and a wide circle of friends will deeply sympathise with them in their bereavement.

Mr and Mrs Spreckley have four sons, all of them serving in the army or navy.

The gallant young officer who has lost his life in his country’s service was in the Connaught Rangers, having received his commission 18 months ago. He is the first citizen of Worcester to give his life to his country in this war.

While his sons are on active service, Mr H.W. Spreckley is discharging a patriotic duty at home as chairman of the committee which is supervising relief for the dependants of soldiers and sailors in Worcester.

During the South African War, he served in a similar capacity.

(In 1995, I interviewed the remarkable 95 years-old Mrs Jo Spreckley at her Powick home.

She had been a nurse in both world wars and was the widow of Royal Navy Captain Malcolm Spreckley whose brother Ralph was the first Worcester victim of the Great War. It transpired that Captain Spreckley was the only one of the four Spreckley brothers to survive the war.

Tragically another two in the Army were also killed in action).