Stuart MCWILLIAM
Rank: Private
Number: 21357
Unit: 7th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 15 March 1918
Age: 26
Cemetery: London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse, Pas de Calais, France

Stuart's death is particularly tragic as he was killed by an artillery shell fired not by the enemy but by his own side.

After a short period away from the front line, the Shropshires returned on the night of 14/15th March to trenches near the village of Wancourt. The Battalion's War Diary entry for the day records "Pte. S Mc William was killed by our own artillery". Presumably, as the troops had been going into the trenches, an artillery shell, intended for the Germans, had fallen short. It had been a fairly common experience in the early part of the War, but the quality of manufacture had much improved by 1917, but errors still occurred.

Of Stuart's early life, little is known. His parents, Alexander McWilliam (a patternmaker) and Mary, had married in the Manchester area about 1890. Shortly afterwards, Agnes was born. Over the next two years, the family had moved to Romiley and Stuart had been born. When the census was taken in 1901, they were living at 10 Bonnyfields, later moving to 23 Guywood Lane. Nothing else is known about Stuart's life, except that it is known he was still living in Romiley when he enlisted into the army at Stockport.

   
           
   
     
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