William EXLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 45800
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 19 July 1917
Age: 26
Cemetery: Halluin Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

William was the son of James and Mary Exley. He was born in Yeardsley-cum-Whaley (now part of Whaley Bridge). At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were living in Chapel-en-le-Frith. James, then aged 32, was a power loom overlooker in a cotton mill. William's younger siblings were listed as Albert (aged 1 and born in Whaley Bridge, suggesting the family had only recently moved to Chapel), John (4) and Lois (7).

The family later moved to the Stockport area and lived at 790 Stockport Road West, Lower Bredbury.

William's service number indicates he enlisted into the army in mid-1916 and will have gone to the front a few months later. On 17 July 1917, William was involved in fighting described here. Regimental records, published after the war, indicate that he was killed in action on the 19th, yet he is buried many miles away from the fighting in a Cemetery behind German lines. It is more likely that he was wounded on the 18th and taken prisoner by the Germans and died next day.

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