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“No one knows how I miss him” – a wartime love story

Discussion in 'Sevenoaks History' started by Sevenoaks Memorial, Nov 22, 2016. Replies: 0 | Views: 384

  1. Sevenoaks Memorial

    Sevenoaks Memorial New Member

    In the churchyard at St Nicholas in the heart of Sevenoaks, there is a family grave, which bears witness to a remarkable love story between a Sevenoaks woman and a Belgian soldier.

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    The family grave at St. Nicholas church

    The memorial to the Caplen family has now fallen into disrepair but it is still just possible to read the inscriptions to Frederick and Rosina Caplen and their two children, Frederick and Rosina. However, one side of the memorial includes the following inscription

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    Also in loving memory of my dear husband, Sergeant Emile Leonard de Coster, 22nd Infantry Belgium Army, killed about 9th August 1919, somewhere in Germany aged 35 years

    No one knows how I miss him

    No one knows how he died

    No one knows how he suffered

    No one knows where he lies

    Having previously written about the arrival of Belgian soldiers and refugees in Sevenoaks, I have tried to research this story further. What emerges is a love story and a tale of one woman’s passion and determination to find out what happened to her husband.​

    Frederick Caplen was born in Worthing, Sussex, in 1856 and married Rosina Jane Gunn (1858-1926) in 1880. Frederick and Rosina had two children, Frederick Nathaniel…

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