Service number: 3/10632 | Rank: Lance Corporal | Regiment: Norfolk Regiment.
Killed in action, July 1, 1916, in Flanders. Aged 35.
Buried at DANTZIG ALLEY BRITISH CEMETERY, Somme, France.
Husband of Elizabeth Lingwood, 67 Thetford Road, Brandon.
Born in Brandon, enlisted at Norwich.
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT WILLIAM …
William was a career soldier with the Norfolk Regiment and for some time was stationed in India. Upon finishing his term of service he returned to Brandon to work as a furrier in one of the town’s fur factories. By the outbreak of war he and his wife Elizabeth had been married eight years and had one child, and were living at 67 Thetford Road. Despite almost being a middle-aged man now, William was recalled back to his unit for active service. After reporting for duty in Norwich he eventually went over to France a year later in July 1915 with the 8th Battalion Norfolk Regiment.
On 30th June 1916, his wife Elizabeth received a letter written by her husband and in it he asked her not to write to him or send him any parcels for the foreseeable future, until a time he could write to her again to let her know he was all right.
“No doubt you will know the reason in a few days’ time if you watch the papers. I hope you won’t worry over it, but this may be the last time I shall write to you, for you never can tell what may happen. But let us hope we shall all get through safely … Remember me to all inquiring friends. I don’t think the war will last much longer if this big move goes off all right. At least we all hope it will finish it.”
The following day William was one of three Brandon men serving in the 8th Norfolks to be killed on the first day of the Somme. Aged 35, he left a widow and a child.
Images of Elizabeth Lingwood, courtesy of Tim Thompson.