Horace Robert Westlake
Horace was born at Landlake Farm in November 27th 1895 to William and Florence Westlake (Nee Harris who died in 1899). Before joining the Devonshire Regiment he worked at Linnick Farm, South Petherwin for Mr. Bickle. His Younger brother, Cecil, served with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and was captured by the Germans..
Horace (Private 14662) served with the 8th Battalion. He was Killed in Action at the Battle of Loos on the 25th September 1915 aged just 19. The Devonshire Regiment were in action at the Battle of Loos and many, like Horace, lost their lives on the very first day of the offensive where the British used gas for the first time. Horace’s body was never found and is likely to be one of the many at Loos Cemetry ‘ known only to God’. However a bible found on the Loos Battlefield by Private Pattison Walton of the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment, is actually Horace’s. (Inside he wrote ‘’Found on the Battle Field on Sept 26 by Pte P Walton, 2nd Batt Border Reg. This bible belonged to one of the Devons who charged with us. Found on the field after the attack of Loos and Hulluch on Sept 26/9/15.” ). Mr. Walton presented the bible some 50 years ago to a lady in Surrey who has spent many years researching who the bible belonged to. We have confirmed that it is in fact Horace’s given by the Wesleyan Sunday school in 1906.
Below is the last letter that Horace sent home to his sister and step mother written just two days before his death.
Below is part of the last letter written to Horace by his sister Gwen written a day after his death.