William Chester YATES
Rank: Private
Number: 2337
Unit: D Company, 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 7 August 1915
Age: 18
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Billie Yates died less than a month after his older brother, Chester.

Arthur Carr Yates and Annie Chester had married in 1884 in the South Manchester area. They would have three sons who served during the War. Only the middle son, Wilfred, would survive. Two older brothers, Leslie and another believed to have been called Stanley.

Like his brother, Billie had been born in the Manchester district of Withington. Arthur Yates died in the middle of 1896 and Billie was born 5 ½ months later on 16 November. The family is thought to have moved to the Lytham area shortly after, before moving to Stockport.

The 1901 Census records Billie and Wilfred as living with Stanley C Yates, described as their father on the census, at 14 Heath Road, Cale Green. This must be an error by the census taker who records his age as only 16 (confirmed as accurate by the family history website, FreeBMD). He must be an older brother, recorded as being head of the household whilst their mother was away. Chester Yates was resident, as a scholar, at the Warehousemen & Clerks Orphans School in Cheadle Hulme - attending the School between 1889 and 1904. Leslie was also a pupil at the time. Wilfred and Billie would become pupils later - Wilfred in 1902 and Billie between 1905 and 1911.

All three brothers were keen lacrosse players and were part of a large group of local sportsmen who joined the 6th (Territorial) Battalion within days of War being declared in 1914. Within a month they were bound for Egypt where they spent the next seven months. Some details of this time can be found here. In early May, 1915, the troops left Egypt to go into action at Gallipoli. All three brothers took part in the charge across No Man's Land on 4 June and all three would be wounded. Chester was wounded in the thigh and was evacuated to Malta, where he died on 8 July. Wilfred was injured in the hand. Billie was wounded in the foot. It was fairly minor and he quickly returned to duty only to be killed during the attack on 7 August.

Billie was originally posted as being missing and it would not be until all possibility of him being taken prisoner had been eliminated that, in June 1916, the War Office made the official presumption that he must have been killed. His body was never recovered and identified.

(The assistance of Cheadle Hulme School in writing this biography is acknowledged)

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