Although it was clear to his family and friends nearly six months ago that 2nd Lieut. Willie Wells-Cole (Lincs) had been killed, the official notification has only this last week been published in the newspapers:
This delay (since we published our notification of his death on December 19th) is explained by the fact that the authorities required official statements from the two eye witnesses, who are both prisoners of war. These have now been secured and Willie’s uncle (and next-of-kin) has finally received this confirmation on May 10th:
“In the view of the statements by these Non-Commissioned Officers the Council are now constrained to conclude that 2ndLieut. Wells-Cole was killed in action on 31stJuly, 1917. I am to express their sympathy with the relatives in their loss and to add that publication will be made in the official casualty list.”
This now enables Willie’s uncle to wind up his nephew’s affairs.