William GRAY
Rank: Driver
Number: W/1617
Unit: A Battery, 241st (South Midland) Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 24 October 1918
Age: 27
Cemetery: Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension, Vicenza, Italy

Little is known about William. He was born in Stockport the son of Joseph and Emma and is known to have been married. The family history website, CheshireBMD, records the civil marriage in 1915 of a man of this name to a Mary Ellen Bradley. William is known to have enlisted in January 1915 and it may well be that he married before going overseas. In 1918, his wife was living at 25 Churchgate. William worked at Bennett’s metal foundry on Green Lane.

Nothing has been established with certainty about his military service although an “educated guess” can be made from his service number. 241st Brigade was certainly not his original unit. This was a Territorial Brigade and, at the beginning of 1917, its troops were given new six digit numbers. The fact that William does not have confirms that he must have transferred to it sometime after that date, indicating that most of his army service was spent with another, unknown, unit. His transfer may have happened if he was away form his original unit for some considerable time – perhaps recovering form wounds or an illness. When he was ready to return to duty, 241st Brigade would have been in greater need of replacements. Alternatively, the transfer may have come about due to one of the series of unit amalgamations which took place in 1918.

Wiliam died at an army field hospital. He was one of the many millions of victims of the worldwide pandemic of influenza.

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