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William Eddleston was born in Preston in 1881. His father was Henry, his mother named Margret.

William enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 31 December 1900 on a short service engagement 3 years with the Colours, and 9 years in the Reserve. He was 19 years old and stood 5ft 3′ tall, had brown hair and brown eyes.

William spent the next couple of years at the Depot, being promoted to LCpl in September 1901.

In April 1902 he was posted in the 1st Battalion, joining them in South Africa on the 26th. At some point during the following few months he was deprived of his stripe, and reverted to Private. William remained in the Cape until the September, and was awarded the Queens South Africa medal with three clasps; Transvaal, Cape Colony and SA02.

On 17 September 1902 he was posted into the 2nd Battalion in Gibraltar. On 31 December 1902 he was awarded his ‘Good Conduct’ pay. William served on the rock until 10 April 1904, then was sent back to South Africa where he saw out the final 5 months of his service.

In September 1904 William had completed his service in the Colours and joined the Army Reserve.

On 14 May 1905, William married his then pregnant girlfriend, Florence. Their first daughter, Ada was born in the December. A second daughter, named Margret followed in November 1907, and a third daughter Jane in April 1910. William and Florence also had one son, John Henry in November 1912.

On 30 December 1912 Williams’ reserve service commitment was terminated as he had fulfilled his term. A few days later on 02 January 1913, William enlisted again.

By the time the Great War had began William was now a Sergeant and was soon posted into the newly raised 10th (Service) Battalion. He was part of the transport party (3 Officers; 109 Other Ranks) that embarked at Southampton on 30 July 1915 – the day before the bulk of the Battalion left Salisbury plain.

On 5th December 1915, just after five months after arriving in France he was wounded in action. He had sustained gunshot wounds to the lower leg and thigh and was sent back to England for treatment. The diary reads;

Hannescamps, 5th December 1915

The enemy quiet; but the Signaling Sergeant was fired on by a machine gun and seriously wounded.

On 29 December 1915 the following list of wounded soldiers appeared in the Manchester Courier.


William penned a poem, the date is unknown but most likely during the months he was in the trenches. The poem: Somewhere in France.

On 27 December 1915 William was admitted into Merryflats War Hospital, Govan, Glasgow. He had gunshots wounds to his lower right leg. He remained in hospital until 30 March 1916. Upon discharge the doctor recommended 10 days furlough of leave followed by light duties for two months without physical drill.  The doctor wrote the following;

States he had chronic bronchitis before he was wounded. In hospital an attack of bronchitis delayed his discharge. He has a persistent dry cough. Right thigh wound, entrance on outer-side. Stitches above knee and 4 inches in centre of buttock. There is considerable callus about the middle of the femur. Permanent.

Having been released from hospital he was posted into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion for recuperation. However, on 16 June 1916 he was discharged from the Army as being no longer physically fit for war service under para 392.XVI K.R. He was 34 years old. His address on discharge was 5 Portland Street, Preston.

Within three months of being discharged, William drowned whilst fishing in the Ribble estuary near ‘The Naze’.

William Eddleston was returning up the river with friends (Arthur Bibby and John Sutton) when he was swept overboard. He was readjusting the boom when it swept around, knocking him into the water. He did not rise to the surface, and all efforts to find him failed.




Paul McCormick
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2 Responses to 6446 SGT. W. EDDLESTON. L.N.LAN.R

  1. […] by 6466 Sergeant William Eddleston – 10th/Loyal North […]

  2. […] Authors note: The Signaling Serjeant shot was 6446 Sgt William Eddleston.  […]

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