Territorial Efficiency Medal
William was born in around 1877. We don't know anything about his early life or family.
By 1909 William, or Bill, lived in the Wigan area. He joined the 5th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, a unit of the Territorial Force, on the 12th May 1909 and was given the service number 1023. We believe he had also served in its predecessor, the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, from 1904.
In both cases William will have kept his civilian job and trained as a soldier during weekends. We don't know what this job was.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and the 5th Battalion was called into service. They were sent to Egypt, arriving on the 25th September. William didn't join them until the 5th November, we don't know why.
The 5th Battalion took part in the invasion of Gallipoli in early May 1915. They were involved in heavy fighting before being evacuated back to Egypt in December. During 1916 they defended the Suez Canal against Turkish attacks and then took part in the fighting that forced the Turks to retreat into the Sinai. They were sent to France in February 1917.
We believe William served with the 5th Battalion throughout this time. At some point he was wounded and returned to the UK. During his recovery William was assigned to a unit of the Training Reserve. These units trained new recruits, and held both them and soldiers recovering from injury or sickness. They would then be drafted to any unit that needed men.
William's service number in the Training Reserve was 27344. We don't know which unit he was assigned to or when he joined them. In around September 1917 he was drafted to the 10th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and given the service number 70145.
The 10th Battalion were serving in the Passchendaele Offensive around Ypres in Belgium when William joined them. They fought at the Battle of Cambrai in late November before being disbanded to supply soldiers to other units in February 1918.
William had been either wounded or fallen sick by the time the 10th Battalion was disbanded. He returned to the UK at some point, but did not recover. He was discharged from the Army 'on account of disablement or ill-health' on the 24th April 1918. He was awarded a Silver War Badge with serial number 359960 to show that his discharge was honourable.
William's service to the Territorial Force, which was renamed the Territorial Army in 1920, was recognised when he was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Medal. This was granted for 12 year's service, although William could count his war service twice.
After the war William worked for Walkers Pagefield Iron Works in Wigan. We don't know if he had also been employed by them before the war. He worked for them for most of his life.
By the mid 1950s William lived at 6 Kay Street in Wigan. We don't know whether he had married or had children. He died on the 19th July 1954, aged 77.
As well as his Territorial Efficiency Medal, William was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal for his Army service.