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William Whittle was born in Bolton, Lancashire in March 1880.

William enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 5th September 1914 and was posted into the newly raised 8th (Service) Battalion. He was 34 years old and had been working as a labourer. He was given the service number 4325. He had previously served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

William was married to Ellen (nee Walton). They had married on 9th April 1898 at Bolton, and had four children; Florence (b. 21/07/01), Albert (b. 09/03/04), William (17/02/09) and Ernest (b. 14/02/12).

On 9th September 1914 he was posted into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, and on 25th September he was promoted to Corporal due to his past military experience.

On 30th September 1915, he was posted into the 1st Battalion, and landed in France to join them the following day. He was part of ‘A Company’.

His leadership skills must have been apparent, as on 8th November 1915 he was promoted to acting Serjeant.

On 21st October 1915, he spent a brief period (6 days) in hospital due to sickness.

Unfortunately an incident occurred on 27th December that saw him reverting to the rank of Corporal for neglect of duty by way of ‘slackness’ during an action.

On 22nd February 1916 he was posted back to the Depot and back into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.

On 12th August 1916 at Hythe, William undertook a course that qualified him to be an instructor in musketry and the mechanics of the Lewis gun.

As of January 1917, William spent a year back in the rank of acting Serjeant, before reverting to Corporal again in January 1918.

On 23rd February 1917, his wife Ellen died. William was present at the time of her death at their home 12 Little Street, Bolton.

William then served with the Royal Defence Corps (service number 93564), in 318th Protection Company (Liverpool) until being discharged from the Colours on 1st March 1919. William was issued the Silver War Badge, number B271058, and the kings certificate.

He was awarded a (30%) disability pension for himself to support his three children under the age 18. His disability was due to the effects of the gas he had been subjected to in France.

Following his discharge, he moved home. He left 40, Plover Street, Bolton; moving to live at 1 Clarence Villas, Russell Road. Felixstowe, Suffolk.

William Whittle died in 1943, aged 63.

Paul McCormick
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