Contributed by: Pamela Thornton, on 2008-11-10
|Year of Birth||1893|
|Year of Death||1917|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Derby, Derbyshire|
Private William Town (my grandfather) served in the 1st/6th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.) He enlisted at Church Gresley Derbyshire (I believe in 1914). He arrived in Egypt 27th April 1915.
William was 23 years old when he died of his wounds in France/Flanders on the 30th April 1917. According to Regimental Headquarters because William was not killed outright it would be impossible to say where he received his fatal injury however they say it was probably at either Lievin on April 20th or Fosse de Lievin April 23rd 1917.
He is buried in Plot 2, Row J, Grave 6 Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France (5 kilometeres north of Boulogne) in the same place as John McCrae "In Flanders Field". It is the only Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery where the headstones are laid flat due to the sandy soil. I visited William's grave with my husband 8 years ago. At the time my youngest son was 22 years old and there I was looking at the grave of my grandfather who was only a year older than him at the time of his death.
I was amazed at how emotional I found the visit especially considering I hadn't known anything about William until about 4 years previous when I started researching my family history. I had an overwhelming desire to "bring him home" even though the cemetary was in a very pretty place and kept - as they all are - immaculately.
I have no photo of William to put on the wall I can only try to imagine what he was like and looked like. What his last days or weeks were like (although unfortunately I think I can guess pretty well on that one). I can only assume his last thoughts were of his new and pregnant wife back home in Derby and of the child - his son, my father - that he would never see - he was born 5 weeks after his death and yes he was named William.
Wish I had memories of you. God bless.