William Edward MADDOCKS
Rank: Private
Number: 27336
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 17 June 1916
Age: 24
Cemetery: Basra War Cemetery, Iraq

The family history website, FreeBMD, records that William's birth was registered at Stockport, between July and September 1892. He was married and lived with his wife and child at 3 Booth Street, Heaton Norris.

He worked as a doubler at Bunting's cotton mill and enlisted into the army between May and July 1915.

Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire and an ally of Germany. Then as now, Britain relied heavily on oil from the area. When war broke out in August 1914, British troops were quickly sent to the area to protect its interests by occupying the oilfields and pipeline near Basra. 

Conditions for the men were appalling. Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common); arid desert and regular flooding; flies, mosquitoes and other vermin: all led to very high levels of sickness and death through disease. Under these conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. The local newspaper reported only that William had died of "disease".

   
           
   
     
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