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William Shepherd CalderleyWilliam Shepard Calderley was born in Bolton in 1896. He was the son of William Calderley b.1863, a moulder’s crane drive in an iron foundry and Ann Calderley née Holt b.1865.

On the 1911 Census their address was 64 Victoria Grove, Bolton.

William was the brother of Joseph b.1890, Harry b.1891, Robert b.1893 (see below) Annie b.18995, Bessie b.1902, Harold b.1907 and Stanley b.1909. His older brothers all worked as piecers in a cotton mill in 1911.

When war broke out William quickly enlisted in the Army and joined the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 12882. He sailed out to Gallipoli with the Battalion in June 1915 and was reported to be missing in action after the battle of Chunuk Bair on 9th August 1915.

The official despatch states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

The Bolton Journal and Guardian of 10th September 1915 wrote;

MISSING IN GALLIPOLI

In an engagement on the Gallipoli Peninsula on August 9th, the 6th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, seems to have suffered heavily, a number of casualties to Bolton soldiers in that unit having been reported. Mr. Calderley, of 64, Victoria-grove, has received official intimation  that his son, Pte. William Calderley (12882), 6th L.N.L., has been missing since the engagement referred to. Calderley, who is only 18* years of age, enlisted soon after the outbreak of war, and went out to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in June. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Messrs. Murton’s bleachworks, Astley Bridge, and was connected with Park-st. Wesleyan Sunday School. His younger brother, Pte. Robert Calderley, is at Aldershot with the 9th L.N.L.

He was later presumed to have died on the day of the Battle. The Bolton Journal and Guardian wrote;

Mr. and Mrs. Calderley, 4 Osborne-grove, Bolton, have been informed that their son, Pte.WILIAM CALDERLEY, L.N.L. Regt., who had been missing in Gallipoli since Aug. 9th, 1915, is now presumed to have died on that date. Aged 20* he was employed at Messrs. Murton’s bleachworks, Astley Bridge, before enlisting in the month War broke out. His name is on the Roll of Honour at Oxford-grove Council School and Park-st. Wesleyan Church.

Rank: Private
Service No: 12882
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Age: 19*
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

Additional Information
Robert Calderley was killed in action as a Corporal with the Machine Gun Corps in October 1916. Their cousin, Joseph Calderley (12094, 6th LNL), was killed in the same battle on the same day as William at Chunuk Bair. Both are remembered on the Helles Memorial.calderley helles

* Disparity in age.

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This article has been reproduced with kind permission from the DBBC young roots heritage project. The young people identified and researched the the servicemen pictured in a 1916 Bolton Journal and Guardian supplement who were killed at Gallipoli. You can visit their website by clicking on the DBBC logo.
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