<A prominent figure in the chess world, who regularly represented Sussex in county games, Mr. J. A. J. Drewitt, of Datchet Dene, Guestling, met a tragic fate yesterday (Thursday) morning, when he fell from a London to Hastings express at Mountfield Crossing, near Battle, and was fatally injured.
He was found by platelayers lying beside the line, and was taken in the Battle motor ambulance to the Royal East Sussex Hospital, Hastings, but died on the way.
He had no relatives near Hastings, and he lived at Guestling as a paying guest. His aged mother, a brother and sisters, live at Worthing.
LAST WORDS TO LANDLADY
His landlady, Miss M. E. Thomas, told a "Sussex Express” reporter that Mr. Drewitt had lodged with her for the past 10 years.
"This is a terrible shock to me,” she said. "Mr. Drewitt left home this morning about quarter to ten. I thought he was going as usual to the Hastings Chess Club at Carlisle Parade, for his last words to me were: 'Don’t worry if I am a little bit late. I shall keep on playing till I win.' I had no idea he was going to take a train journey, though, of course, he often had to travel to chess matches away. He left in rather a hurry, I suppose now, because he was afraid he might lose the train.
"He was generally most cheerful, though occasionally he had melancholy moments. He worried rather over the sudden death of my aunt last Christmas, for we had been very happy together for the last 10 years. Now I am left quite alone.”
Mr. Drewitt's death has cast a deep shadow over the Hastings Club, where he had many real friends. A fellow-member told the "Sussex Express" that he would be greatly missed, not only there, but in British chess circles generally.
"He was always a very reserved man," he said, "but he was undoubtedly popular. He seemed to spend his whole life playing chess.">