William Henry MATTHEWS
Rank: Private
Number: 10569
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 22 April 1915
Age: 29
Cemetery: Tuileries British Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

William had been born in Liverpool and it is not known when he came to live in Stockport. He worked as a carter and lived with his wife at 21 Bentley Street in the Lancashire Hill area of town.

His service number suggests he volunteered for the army in August 1914 and will have been amongst the first drafts of troops to go overseas, in January 1915, as replacements for the regular army troops of the First Battalion, who had been killed or wounded in the early months of the war.

In mid April, he sent a last letter to his wife "You can think about me about 5.30 tonight, for we are going into the trenches for another days (sic) . I don't know how we shall go this time, but we will have to do our best. You say that I don't tell you what is going on here. I don't want to; it might upset you more." Perhaps this was a premonition, as William was killed a few days later during the tour of duty described here. William was buried nearby but his is one of 71 graves that were destroyed by shellfire later in the war, as the front line shifted position. He is now commemorated on a special Memorial in the Cemetery.

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