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20559 Private William Lockwood 1William Lockwood was baptised at St. Saviours Church in Preston on the 3rd May 1897 the son of Alexander William and Ellen Lockwood (nee Whewell). William`s father was originally from Waterloo in Liverpool and his mother was born in Preston and the couple married on the 4th April 1896 at St. Saviour`s Church in Preston.

William was the eldest of four children born to his parents, the others being; Bessie (1898), Herbert (1901) and Florence (1907).

In 1901 William and his family lived at 35 Brewery Street in Preston where his father was employed as a labourer by the Lancashire and North Western Railway Company and his mother worked as a weaver. By 1911 the family had moved to 57 Salmon Street just off London Road where Alexander Lockwood was still labouring on the railways and William, Bessie and Herbert were all attending school.

Unfortunately William`s service papers have not survived but later information states that he enlisted into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in September 1914. He was allotted the service number 20559 and posted to the 7th Battalion. At the time of his enlistment William was seventeen and a half years old and he had previously been working as a weaver for Messrs Horrockses, Crewdson & Co. at their Fishwick Mill on London Road. William was single and still living in Salmon Street in Preston with his parents.

William sailed to France on the 17th July 1915 with the 7th Battalion, coming under the command of the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division. When they landed in France the strength of the Battalion was 30 Officers and 900 other ranks. At some point after they landed in France William was attached to a Lewis Gun Company.

After the 7th Battalion`s involvement during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 they were temporarily moved up to the Flanders front but by the beginning of October 1916 the 19th Division was sent back to the Somme area once more. They arrived in the area around Albert and La Boisselle, the same area where they had suffered so many casualties during the Battle of the Somme. The intention this time was for the Division to be employed in an attack up the valley of the Ancre, however, because of the incessant rain and the state of the ground the proposed attack was postponed.

At the beginning of November the 56th Brigade was holding the front line of the sector around Aveluy, the weather had improved and the 19th Division was now to take part in the Battle of the Ancre.

At some point during this period William was severely wounded after which he was removed to a Casualty Clearing Station where sadly he succumbed to his wounds. However, there does appear to be some confusion over his actual date of death. The CWGC and the Register of Soldier`s Effects have both recorded that he died on the 2nd November 1916 but a later newspaper report also mentions that he died on the 7th November 1916, this information apparently being supplied by the Casualty Clearing Station.

The report of William`s death appeared in the Preston Guardian;20559 Private William Lockwood 2

William was later buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery on the Somme. His parents had the following words inscribed at the foot of his gravestone;

“EVERLASTING LOVE FROM FATHER, MOTHER, SISTERS AND BROTHER, AT REST”

After the war his parents would take receipt of his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and they would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice for his country.

The name of Private William Lockwood is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum and Library in his hometown of Preston.

Rank: Private
Service No: 20559
Date of Death: 02/11/1916
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.
Cemetery: PUCHEVILLERS BRITISH CEMETERY

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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