Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

William Caunt

William Caunt :

William Caunt : British War Medal

British War Medal

William was born on the 22nd January 1887. His father, William, worked as an engineer’s storekeeper; his mother was called Emma. William had five siblings - Dora, Albert, Florrie, Percy and Mabel. Dora worked in a bakery, while William and Albert worked as grocers’ assistants. William worked as a pawnbroker’s assistant.

By 1911 William had married Charlotte and they had three children together - Florence, Charlotte and Mabel. At the outbreak of the First World War they were living at 25 Alton Street in Queens Park, Harpurhey.

William joined the Army on the 10th December 1915 in Manchester aged 29. He was 5 feet 2 and a half inches tall, with brown hair. He was given the service number 29337 and initially deployed to the Army Reserve, and then the 26th (Reserve) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment in June 1916. William suffered from rheumatism and shortness of breath and this may be the reason he was initially placed in the reserve.

Details of his active service are limited. We do know that in August 1916 William joined the 3rd Battalion. Then in June 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and he served in France. He was wounded on the 12th March 1918. By the end of the war he was returned to the 3rd Battalion.

Details of William’s life after the war are limited. In 1939 he was living with Charlotte in Levenshulme and working as a clothing salesman. William passed away in March 1940. He was 53 years old.William was awarded the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal for his service during the First World War. However, only the War Medal is known to have survived. It was donated to the museum collections in 2014.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 342 5480
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
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Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council