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WHITESIDE-williamWilliam Whiteside was born on 20 November 1878 in Blackburn. His parents were Joseph Whiteside (b. 1853 in Kirkham), a cotton spinner by trade, and Ellen Parker (b. 1855 in Liverpool). The family lived in Blackburn only briefly, and lived mainly in Walton Le Dale and Bamber Bridge – Joseph worked at Orr’s Mill on School Lane. Joseph and Ellen had 7 children, 4 of whom survived infancy: Hannah (b. 1873), John Edward (b. 1875), then William, and Margaret Alice (b. 1883). William followed in his father’s footsteps as a spinner and in 1901 was living at 196 Victoria Road, Walton Le Dale (by the Black Bull pub), with his new wife, Jane (née Parker, b. 1877 in Darwen). William and Jane had 5 children: Nancy (b. 1901), Thomas (b. 1902), Emma (b. 1905), Ellen (b. 1907 and died the same year) and Alfred (b. 1909).

William joined up in 1914 or early 1915 and was posted to 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. 1Bn had gone to France in August 1914, and the following year in May 1915 had suffered severe losses at the Battle of Aubers Ridge. Reinforcements to replace killed and wounded men were sent out from England during the summer and William was among a draft of 35 men and 5 officers who arrived on 3 August 1915. By the beginning of September, the Bn was back up to its full strength of about 850 officers and men. The Bn fought in the Battle of Loos, during which it again suffered heavy losses – not least when they tried to use gas but the wind changed direction and blew the gas back onto the British lines. The Battle of Loos “had not improved the general situation in any way and had brought nothing but useless slaughter of infantry”.

Trench warfare continued throughout the remainder of the year and the first few months of 1916, but the Bn was, like the rest of the Army, engaged mainly in training and preparation for the planned assault in July. 1Bn (part of 2nd Brigade of 1st Division) was engaged in the opening phase of the Battle of the Somme, at the Battle of Albert. The Bn was relieved on 5 July and rejoined the fighting on the 14th at Contalmaison. The fighting during this, the Battle of Pozières, was typically confused: an initial attack, at short notice, made some advances but then the Germans regrouped and the British were forced to retreat under machinegun fire and shelling. The Germans then counterattacked and after an initial advance were in turn forced to retreat, and then, horrendously, British shells began to fall on the Battalion and they were finally forced to withdraw. During this fighting, on 14-15 July 1Bn lost several officers and had 75 other casualties, killed and wounded. Among them was William Whiteside, who was killed on 15 July 1916. He was 37 years old (although CWGC gives his age as 39). His body was never recovered.

His effects, £2 5s 10d, and a War Gratuity of £4, were paid to his widow, Jane.

Rank: Private
Service No: 18816
Date of Death: 15/07/1916
Age: 39 37
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 11 A.

After the War, Jane remarried. In 1919, she married Alfred Edgar Marston. Alfred was her brother-in-law, having previously been married to Margaret Alice, William Whiteside’s sister, who had died in 1915. Alfred was a rubber worker and he and Margaret had two children: Mary Ellen (b. 1898) and Austin (b. 1906). In 1911, this family was living at 21 East Street, Farington. Alfred was born in 1882 in Allahabad, India, where his father, Thomas Marston, was a sergeant instructor with … 1Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Alfred Marston is the brother of Samuel Marston (Scots Guards) and Charles Marston (L.N.LAN.R.), who were both killed in 1918

Bill Brierley
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One Response to 18816 PTE. W. WHITESIDE. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Karen williams says:

    William was my Great grandfather. Many of his descendants have served in the British Armed forces.

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