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William Horrocks was born in Bury in about 1878. In 1895 he joined the Militia, 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment, regimental number 5236 aged 17 yrs 10 months, gave his address as 11 Cliffton street, off Walmersley Road. On the 7th February 1896, at Ashton under Lyne, when he enlisted in the Regular Army for 7 years service with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment to be followed by 5 years in the Reserve, number 5059. He was now 18 years old, 5ft 4in tall and weighed 124lbs with a 33.5in chest. He had blue eyes, brown hair and fresh complexion. Previously worked as a labourer. He served in Ceylon (Dec 1897 – Feb 1899) and as a Corporal with the Mounted Infantry section of the 1st Battalion in South Africa (Feb 1899 – Oct 1902) where he earned the Queens South Africa medal with 6 Clasps (Belmont, Modder River, Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Johannesburg & Diamond Hill) and the Kings South Africa medal with the 2 clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. He passed his 3rd class certificate of education in June 1902. He was transferred to the Reserve in February 1903 and married MINNIA CLAMEST PROBERT in Plymouth in March 1903. That September had rejoined but wasn’t able to retain his rank. In 1906 he was posted back to South Africa and into the 2nd Battalion (Sep 1906 – Oct 1907). He then was in Mauritius (Oct 1907 – Nov 1909) then East Indies (Nov 1909 – Mar 1911). He was appointed Lance Corporal in 1906, promoted to Corporal in 1907 and passed his 2nd class certificate of education in July 1907. He was appointed Lance Serjeant in January 1911. and discharged in March 1911 after 15 years 39 days service.

He gave his next of kin as his father, Benjamin Horrocks – but said ‘address not known’; and his brother Thomas Horrocks of 89 Devon Street, Bury.

There were four men named William Horrocks who served in the Loyal North Lancs during the Great War – but no obvious candidates to say which one was him if indeed he joined back up at all – he wouldn’t have been obligated to.

Paul McCormick
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