Prescot Roll of Honour

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WW1 Casualty: Private 32911 William Eccleston -

Private 32911 William Eccleston

© Prescot Reporter

Unit/Regiment 10th Bn, Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death 21/09/1918 Age at Death 24
& Reference
Vis-en-Artois Memorial
Panel 85 to 86
CWGC Family Details (if shown) Brother of Roger Timothy Eccleston, of 18, Mount Vernon St., Low Hill, Liverpool
Census Details 1901 Census -

The Eccleston family lived at Crank Lane, Windle. Widowed father William (43, a Labourer ) lived with children John (13), Esther (10), Mary (9), William (7), Henry (6) and Roger (2).

1911 Census –

By 1911, the Eccleston family had moved to Prescot, where they lived at 9, Hill Street in a house which they shared with the Donnelly family.

Interestingly, given that William (Senior) was shown as widowed in the 1901 census, the Head of the family is shown as Mary Jane, aged 42 and married for 23 years. Sons John (22), William (17) and James (7) live there, as well as daughter Esther (20). William was a Labourer at a Marine Store. (There was a Marine Store at 20, High Street at the time).

The census shows that Mary Jane and William had 16 children, only 7 of whom had survived.
SDGW – Where Born Wigan, Lancs
Enlisted Prescot
How Died Killed in Action Theatre of War France & Flanders
Research Ref. No. P092

Service Details

William's service number suggests that he was called up for service sometime around February 1917 and posted to the 3rd Battalion of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

Although William's records have not survived, another man with a number close to William's was posted to the 10th Battalion in Egypt in July 1917, as were quite a few other men from the 3rd - it is possible that William was included in this transfer, but this cannot be stated for certain. (The 10th Battalion was formed in Cairo in March 1917 from two existing Yeomanry regiments, the Cheshire and Shropshire Yeomanries).

After seeing action in Gaza in October 1917, the battalion sailed from Alexandria to Marseilles, France in May 1918 in response to the need for additional forces to combat the German advance.

On 21st September 1918, the battalion attacked a German strong point known as the Quadrilateral near Gillemont Farm, located between Lempire and Vendhuile. Records show that William was one of 10 men who fell that day, and it is therefore assumed that is was in this action that he was killed.

The battalion had already lost 59 men killed in September, and after the actions of the 21st they lost a further 11 giving a total loss of 80 men that month.

The fortunes of war have denied William a known grave and he is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois memorial.

The Parish Magazine of 29th October 1918 reported 'The following names to be added to the Roll of Honour' and included 'Pte. William Eccleston of 9, Hill Street. Killed in action 21st September'.

(Additional information provided by Annette Burgoyne and Donald D of the Great War Forum)

William Eccleston's Medal Index Card. He was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal

William Eccleston's inscription on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial

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