William was born in October 1897 in Stamford, Lincolnshire. His farther, George, tock his family to Leicestershire to enable him to obtain employment at Ellistown colliery. He lived at 2 Ashbourne road, Hugglescote (next door to Wilfred Robinson of the fifty) and William worshiped at St Johns the Baptist Church and was educated at the Church school, which was (and is) just accross the road.
William was a clever and sensible lad and after finishing school he followed his farther down the mines obtaining a job at Bagworth. Young William enlisted at Coalvile in mid-August 1914 into the 5th Leistershire Battalion and although only sixteen years of age was accepted following a lie.
During service with the 5th Battalion, William was wounded and hospitalised for a time. When fully recovered he was reposted to the 1st Leicestershire Battalion, and died of wounds near Loos in France on 5th September 1917 aged only Nineteen.
50 first heroes
The Coalville Heroes series celebrates the first fifty volunteers from the Coalville area to take part in the Great War of 1914-18. Most enrolled in August 1914 and left for training on October 30th 1914. They trained at High Tor in Charnwood and Loughborough, then traveled to Southampton to take the steamer to France. Of the 50 volunteer soldiers, 22 returned. Each geocache commemorating a true volunteer soldier.
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