Lance Corporal, 16th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Killed in action 10th July 1916, age approx. 21.

Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

Student of mechanical engineering.


William was born on 11th September 1895 at Darwen to Thomas Edward, a blast furnace manager and local counsellor, and Angelina Holgate. He was educated at Hollins Grove, Darwen; Darwen Municipal Secondary School; Manchester Grammar School (1908-11) where he held a Lancashire Junior Exhibition; and Darwen and Blackburn Techs. After being apprenticed to an engineering company for three years he entered the School of Technology in 1914, age 19, to study mechanical engineering.

Having joined the University Officer Training Corps in October 1914 he enlisted with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 22nd December of the same year. He was recommended for a commission in October 1915 and May 1916. He served in France from 15th December 1915 until his death in action at Mametz Wood on the Somme on 10th July 1916. His commanding officer wrote: “The battalion was joining up to attack the German position, when a shell burst close to him, killing him instantaneously. He was one of the very many brave soldiers who fell that day, but there is none whose loss will be more keenly felt by his comrades or by myself personally. His bearing throughout his period of service, especially in France, was invariably that of a true and loyal soldier.” A comrade remembered that: “He led his section over the top with the greatest coolness and bravery. He was first wounded in the cheek by a bullet, and soon after a shell burst just in front of him, killing him instantaneously.”

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