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William John Cahill joined the Loyal North Lancashire on 12th August 1908 and sailed to France exactly six years later with the 1st Battalion, 12th August 1914.

As a regular soldier, William had already attained the rank of Corporal before War had broken out and during the next couple of years was promoted to Sergeant. He was then transferred to the newly raised Tank Corps with the number 96447 (later 203063).
Sgt W Cahill Article

William was wounded during the closing stages of the War losing his leg; he was discharged as wounded on 25th November 1918 and given the Silver War Badge number B60322.

The Preston Herald printed a similar article on  on 22nd July 1916;


Corporal W. Cahill, of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, a well-known local boxer, who has won many contests in the ring, including the middle-weight championship of the 2nd Brigade, England and France, 1914-15, and who was seen on several occasions at the Adelphi when Mr. Tom Sharples gave long entertainments there, has made himself a prime local favourite by his never-failing cheerfulness in spite of the fact that he has lost a leg in the service of his country.

Anxious to do something now that his active soldiering is finished, he hit on the novel plan of selling his photograph, and has thereby collected £3 for the funds of the Moor Park Hospital.

William retained close links with the Regiment and was still working at the Regimental Depot, Fulwood Barracks, when he died on 24th August 1946. His probate was left his wife Elizabeth Ann Cahill. His medals are currently on display in the Lancashire Infantry museum.


The following appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post on 26th August 1946;


Well known to thousands of soldiers who have passed through Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Mr William John Cahill, caretaker of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment Museum, died after a long illness on Saturday night. He was 56.

A regular soldier before the Great War, Mr Cahill served throughout the campaign and sustained wounds which necessitated the amputation of a leg. He was appointed caretaker to the museum shortly after Armistice and since that time has assisted in sporting events for recruits.

During this war (WW2) he was employed in the barracks library and assisted in organising indoor sporting activities for troops.

A second article appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post on 27th August 1946;


The District Coroner (Mr. W. Blackhurst) returned a verdict of ‘Natural causes’ at a Preston inquest today on William John Cahill, aged 56, of Loyal North Lancashire Cottage, Fulwood, librarian at Fulwood Barracks who died on Saturday evening.

Mr Cahill who served with the Loyals in the 1914-18 war, was severely wounded and lost his left leg. Medical evidence was that death was due to a chronic disease of the blood and was not associated with war injuries.


William John Cahill (left) working in the Regimental Museum (1930’s)

Unfortunately his service and pension papers have not survived.

Additional Information: William’s home, that he named Loyal North Lancashire Cottage is located on Watling-street Road and is pictured below.

User Rept0n1x at Wikimedia Commons

Loyal North Lancashire Cottage on Watling-street Road (Photo credit: Rept0n1x at Wikimedia Commons)

Paul McCormick
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