India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'
William was born in around June 1905 in Newry, County Armagh. At the time this was in Ireland, it is now in Northern Ireland. We don't know anything about his family or his early life.
By the time he was 21 he lived in or near Liverpool and worked as a labourer. He must have wanted more from life however because on the 24th January 1927 he travelled to Liverpool and enlisted in the Manchester Regiment. He was given the service number 3521905.
We don't know much about William's service. At some point he travelled to India to join the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. They had been based in Burma between 1925 and 1929, and then moved to Secunderabad in India.
In December 1930 a rebellion broke out in several regions of Burma. The authorities requested more troops from India to help restore control, so William and the 2nd Battalion deployed to the country in June 1931. They took part in patrols of the jungle and villages in their allotted area until the rebellion was brought to an end by early 1932. William returned to Secunderabad in early February.
The 2nd Battalion moved to Khartoum in Sudan during October 1932, and returned to the UK on the 13th December 1933. They were then stationed in Strensall, Yorkshire until 1938. The 1st Battalion left the UK for Jamaica and Bermuda in January 1934. It moved to Egypt in September 1935 and stayed there until 1938. We don't know which unit William served in.
William left the Army after 12 years on the 23rd January 1939. We believe he returned to Northern Ireland. The Second World War broke out that September and William rejoined the Army on the 24th May 1940. He joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but we don't know anything about his service during the war, or whether he earned any medals for it.
William's medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in mid 1937.