Rank: Private
Number: 52661
Unit: 11th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 10 August 1917
Age: 34
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

William had been born in Cheadle and lived at 8 Bank Street with his wife. He was an enthusiastic crown green bowls player and had previously been English Skittles Champion.

He had enlisted in 1915 at Chester. In June 1917, William had won the Military Medal. The Stockport Advertiser, 24 August 1917, said this was for "dressing the wounded under heavy fire during the June push." This will have been the Battle of Messines, probably on either the 7th or 8th of the month. The men had left their trenches at 6.50am and had captured and secured their main objective by 9am. One party pushed further on until the officer realised they were ahead of the British creeping artillery barrage. There was nothing to be done but to find whatever cover they could, in shell holes and wait for the bombardment to pass over them. Luckily, there were few casualties. During the day, two counter-attacks were beaten off. All through the next day, there was a heavy German artillery bombardment.

On 1 August, William went into the support trenches at Westhoek Ridge, to the east of Ypres (now Ieper). They would stay here until the 6th when they were relieved to dugouts at The Esplanade, Ypres. The Battalion's War Diary records that during the whole tour of duty the weather was very bad and the trenches "where they existed" were knee deep in water. During this period, 22 members of the Battalion were killed. On the 9th August, the Cheshires were further relieved and moved back to Halifax Camp.

Sometime during the previous days, William was wounded. It was probably on the 9th, whilst they were being relieved. He was evacuated to a Canadian Casualty Clearing Station where he died. The Chaplain wrote to Mrs Pimblott "It grieves me deeply to tell you that your husband succumbed to his wounds at 8.20 this evening. He made a brave fight for life but a penetrating wound to the chest rendered it unavailing. I saw him just before he died, but he was too far gone to leave any message."

William is buried in the cemetery next to where the Casualty Station was based.

(NB: Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website.)

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