William KING
Rank: Private
Number: 201913
Unit: 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Date of Death: 7 January 1918
Cemetery: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France


Nothing is known about William King's life except that Regimental records, published just after the war, indicate he was born in Stockport and enlisted in the town. His service number suggests that he did not enlist until after January 1917 when the six digit numbers were introduced. The number is associated with one of the Cheshire Regiment's Territorial Battalions - the 4th Cheshires. William was probably assigned to the 4th, after training. It is not known if he ever actually saw service with that Battalion which, throughout 1917, was in action against the Turkish Army in Palestine. It is more likely William was transferred immediately to the 13th Battalion in France.

On 7 January 1918, William and his comrades were in trenches near the village of Moeuvres, approximately 10 kilometres west of the French town of Cambrai. Numbers "2" and "4" Companies were in the front line, respectively on the right and left. Number "1" Company was a little way behind in the support trench and "3" a little further behind them, in reserve. On this Monday, the very cold weather of the previous days had improved, and there started to be a thaw during the day, but it re-froze in the evening. Although this was a quiet time with no major battles undertaken, there was still work to be done. The men were kept busy repairing the trenches. As soon as it became dark, parties were sent out into No Man's Land to repair the barbed wire.

The Battalion's War Diary records that, at about 6.30pm, the enemy artillery became very active on the left. Walter was the only member of the Battalion to be killed this day. He has no known grave - perhaps he was killed in No Man's Land and it was too dangerous to recover his body - perhaps there was a direct hit from an artillery shell.

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