Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society


Private 27436

1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 23rd July 1916 aged 36

Born about 1880 in Eastwick to parents David and Mary Ann but in the 1891 census he is shown as an inmate of the local workhouse along with his father and 4 siblings.  Between this date and when he enlisted in the army he may have moved to Stanstead Abbotts, but he does not appear on any later census.

He joined the 1stBattalion Bedfordshire Regiment.His unit fought on the Western Front from the outbreak of the war, at Mons and Le Cateau in 1914, at the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915 and were heavily involved in the First Battle of the Somme. On 23rd July at about 9.15pm his unit moved forward to take up part of the trench line between High Wood and Delville Wood and were ordered to dig a new line in advance of the existing one, this they did putting out a number of fortified posts until they came under heavy enemy artillery fire and it may have been at this point that William was killed.

His body was never found and he is one of the 72000 names on the Theipval memorial.

Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal