William John Edward Merryweather
Contributed by: Alan Merryweather, on 2008-11-05
|First Name||William John Edward|
|Year of Birth||1894|
|Year of Death||1917|
|Regiment||East Surrey Regiment|
|Place of Wartime Residence||London, Other|
William John Edward's Story
Will's diary with its bullet-ripped lower edge survives and records that he was promoted Lance Sgt 1 Oct 1917. Next day he went by train to Colchester to meet girlfriend 'Betty' at Frinton, Essex. The photo was taken 4 Oct. He went to the rail station to go back to his unit on 6 Oct, but returned home with Betty instead. 9 Oct, his diary records 'Caught train. Oh how terrible to leave. Under close arrest reduced to Private', and it was with that rank that he died 10 December near Flesquieres, Northern France.
Years of research were needed to discover who Betty was and she would never have been positively identified had Will not written against 8 December, 'My beloved's birthday'. She was Alice Jarvis nee Oxley, married to Sapper Albert Jarvis. The diary includes many names of fellow soldiers and some details about a few of them.