Number: 12057
Unit: CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 19 January 1917
Age: 51

Most men who lied about their age to enlist did so because they were too young to join. William Queeney was, almost certainly too old. His service papers show that, when he enlisted on 7 September 1914, he had given his age as 44 – just old enough to be considered. He was, in fact some four years older.

He’d been born near Wednesbury in Staffordshire but live din Stockport where he earned his living as a casual labourer. After training, he was posted to the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment which was on Empire defence duties at Gibralter. He returned home in March 1916, suffering from Tuberculosis and was discharged from the army the following month. His army pension papers show some discrepancies which perhaps suggest that the authorities were trying to avoid giving William a full pension. Whilst it was accepted that the TB was not caused by his army service, there is a statement that it was aggravated by his service at Gibralter. That statement has been subsequently crossed out.

William returned to his wife and home at 15 London Place where, on 17 January 917 he died of TB and haemorrhage of the lungs.

Men whose deaths are linked to their service were entitled to be regarded as “war deaths”, even if they died after discharge. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission still considers cases brought to its attention even though it is over 90 years since the war ended. A copy of William’s death certificate and pension papers have now been sent to the Commission and, at the time of writing in December 2008, a decision is awaited. 

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