Born 1868 in Radcliffe on Trent

Baptised 21st March 1869 St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on Trent

Married Ann Best on 4th April 1898 at Nottingham Registry Office

Children: Florry born 1889, Beatrice Ellen born 1898, Harold William born 12th June 1904, and Lily E. born 12th July 1911.

Died 1934 in Nottingham, age 68

1871 Census

Age 3, living on Radcliffe Hill, Radcliffe on Trent with father Isaac 46, labourer, mother Ann 44, dressmaker, sister Ruth 19, lace worker, brother Samuel 10, farm servant, sisters Emily 8, and Lilie 9 months.

1881 Census

Age thirteen, a scholar living with his widowed mother Mary Ann, dressmaker, and sister Lilie Mary in the house of James and Louisa Brewster and family at 164 Long Hedge lane, Sneinton, Nottingham. Louisa was William’s sister. His father had died in 1878.

1891 Census

A soldier serving in South Africa.

1901 Census

Still in the army and serving in South Africa in the second Boer War, having also served in Egypt and India in the 1890s. His wife, Ann, a cotton weaver, was living with her daughters Florence, and Beatrice Ellen, two, in the household of her widowed mother Charlotte on Urban Road, Carlton.

1911 Census

Age forty-two a general labourer for the Urban District Council, having left the Army in 1903 after sixteen years of service. He was living at 6 Bridge Street, Long Eaton, Derbyshire with wife Ann, daughters Florry, Beatrice Ellen and son Harold William, six. Ann’s mother Charlotte Best was living with them.

Military Service before 1914

Rank: Private

Service Number: 2699 (Derbyshire Regiment), 2613 (East Yorkshire Regiment)

Military Unit: East Yorkshire Regiment, previously 4th Battalion, Derbyshire Regiment

Theatre of War: Second Boer War, South Africa, 1900-02

Also served in Egypt (East Yorks) and India (East Yorks)

Attested 15th November 1886 in Nottingham, age 18 years 7 months, trade: hosiery, height 5ft 4¼ins, chest 32ins, weight 113lbs, complexion fresh, eyes grey, hair light brown, religion Church of England, address 44 Hooton Street, Sneinton Elements, Nottingham.

15.11.1886: Private 2699, 4th Battalion, Derbyshire Regiment

Second attestation in Leicester 28th March 1887; Private 2613 East Yorkshire Regiment. He states that he has previously served in the 4th Battalion Derbyshire Regiment. Height 5ft 5¼ins, weight 116lbs, chest 33¼ ins, eyes blue, hair fair.

Home (Depot) 29.3.1887 to 31.5.1888

1.4.1887: Joined East Yorkshire Regiment at Beverley, Yorkshire

South Africa 1.1.1889 to 5.5.1893

1.1.1889: Posted 1st Battalion, South Africa, Private

13.1.1890: Appointed Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion

17.5.1890: Reverted to Private

23.6.1891: G.C. (Good Conduct) pay at 1d

21.1.1892: Appointed Lance Corporal

2.4.1892: Passed class of instruction for promotion to Corporal

8.8.1892: Promoted Corporal

Permitted to extend his Army service to complete 10 years with the Colours

21.1.1893: Corporal

6.5.1893 to 25.11.95 Egypt

15.7.1893: Reverted to Private at own request

In addition to his basic pay William received pay for good conduct (G.C.):

16.7.1893 G.C. pay at 2d; 3.1.1894 G.C. pay at 1d; 3.7.1894 G.C. pay at 2d; 26.11.1894 G.C. pay at 1d; 26.5.1895 G.C. pay at 2d restored

India 26.11.1895 to 7.4.1897

Home 8.4.1897 to 13.3.1900

10.4.1897: Transferred to Reserve

29.3.1899: Re-engaged for 4 years, Sec. D

5.3.1900: Recalled to service, Private

South Africa 14.3.1900 to 25.6.1902

Home 26.6.02 to 11.1.1903

1.7.1902: Demobilised; South African War Gratuity issued: £6.10 shillings

12.1.03: Re-transferred to Reserve

28.3.03: Discharged: termination of engagement; service in Reserve not allowed to reckon towards G.C. pay: 2 years 329 days. Service not allowed to reckon towards pension: 76 days

Military History sheet:

Total service 16 years

Certificates of education: 4th class 1.9.1887; 3rd class; 2nd class 17.6.1892

Character: Good

Medals Awarded: (Boer War): Queen’s South Africa medal, (Wittenberg, Cape Colony); King’s South Africa medal 1901, 02.

Military Service 1914-19

Rank: Private

Service Number: 4255 (Sherwood Foresters), 702 (Royal Defence Corps)

Military Unit: 451st Protection Company, Royal Defence Corps, previously 5th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters

Theatre of War: Served in the U.K. and therefore did not enter a theatre of war or receive WWI campaign medals

31.3.15: Attested at Derby and embodied, age 46, Private 4255, The Sherwood Foresters. Terms of service 4 years

Height 5 ft 7 ins, weight 143 lbs, chest 35 ins. Trade gas fitter

29.4.16: Transferred to 101 Protection Company, Private 702, Royal Defence Corps

13.11.16: Transferred to 149 Protection Coy

11.2.17: Transferred to 115 Protection Coy

29.9.17: Northolt. Absent off pass from 9.30 am to 11.10 am. 10 days confined to barracks

1.12.17: Transferred to 114 Protection Company

9.4.18: Posted 451 Protection Coy (Irish Command)

28.6.18: Medical Board: classified B2

19.8.18: From the ‘Particulars of soldier’s family form’: wife Mrs Ann Woodward, 92 Bridge Street, Long Eaton

16.3.19: Demobilised

Home 31.3.15-16.3.19, service 3 years 349 days.

Other information

The Royal Defence Corps  formed in March 1916  was made up of soldiers who were too old or unfit to be sent on active service overseas. Their role was to provide security by guarding strategically important places such as ports, railway yards and bridges as well as prisoner of war camps.

1921 Census

Address: Long Eaton

Employment: Scavenger, Long Eaton Urban Council

Household: wife Ann, daughter Beatrice, lace worker, wire spring machinist at Leslie Marshall, Lace Web Co., upholsters, son Harold, messenger, Midland Railway Co. Chilwell, granddaughter Lily.

See below for further details of his military service prior to WWI:

Reasons for inclusion on Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour

Born and lived in Radcliffe on Trent