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WW1 Casualty: Pioneer WR/26465 William Case -

Pioneer WR/26465 William Case

Unit/Regiment Roads and Quarries, 343rd Coy, Corps of Royal Engineers
Date of Death 08/03/1918 Age at Death 32
& Reference
Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery
II A 17
CWGC Family Details (if shown) Son of Mr. H. Case, of 5, Almshouses, Sewell St., Prescot, Lancs
Census Details 1901 Census -

Henry Case, a 46 year old General Labourer, lived at No 1 Court, 2 House, Rowson Street, Prescot, with his wife Mary (40), and children Nellie (20) and May (18), both of whom were employed as Watch Polishers, son William (14), an apprentice Pivot Maker, and scholars George (6) and Elizabeth (2)

1911 Census –
Henry Case (55), a Labourer at the Sewage Farm, and his wife Mary (50) had been married for 32 years. 5 of their 6 children were still living and three of these lived with their parents. William (24), was a labourer for the Urban District Council. George (16) was a Labourer at the Wire Works and Elizabeth (12) was at school.
Birth/Marriage/Death Registrations Birth Registered Q4/1886, Prescot, 8b, 685
SDGW – Where Born Prescot, Lancs
Enlisted St Helens, Lancs
How Died Died Theatre of War France & Flanders
Notes Formerly 44932, King's (Liverpool Regiment), 343rd RCC
Research Ref. No. P045

Service Details

William Case originally attested into the 14th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers in Warrington on 15th March 1916. He gave his address as 'Sewage Farm, Prescot' and his next of kin was his father, Henry, at the same address. He was unmarried, aged 29 years and 9 months. He was employed as a Pavior and stated that he had previously served for 9 months with the 2nd Voluntary Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment, i.e. the Territorials.

His medical suggested that he was not fit for front line service and was instead marked as suitable for labouring work.

His surviving papers show that although he remained in the UK until 3rd May 1917, when he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France, he actually transferred to the 23rd (Works) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment on 16th June 1916, and then was transferred again to the 343rd Railway Construction Company, Royal Engineers on 19th April 1917.

He remained in France until 8th March 1918, when he is recorded as having died from haemorrhage and shock in 41st Stationary Hospital, Gailly, as a result of being run over by a lorry. On 13th March, the Army Records Office was further informed by telegram that Pioneer Case had suffered a ruptured femoral artery in the accident and a compound fracture of the left knee.

This is confirmed as being a case of accidental death by the survival of two witness statements, reproduced below:-

Accident report on Pioneer WR/26465 William Case

Died 8 March 1918 (41st Stationary Hospital, Gailly, France)

Statement by Private H W Steele: "I saw a lorry coming, exceptionally slowly barely moving, and walking just in front of the lorry also very slowly was an Engr. Instructor, and when he was 3 yards in front of the lorry, he suddenly halted, and the lorry was almost on the top of him, when he moved on 2 or 3 steps and again halted and the lorry was on to him, before it could be stopped - and the Engineer fell sideways and the left hand side front wheel went over him. And a P/W attempted to pull him out, but failed. The back wheel then went over him."

Statement by driver, Private 164992 R C Browne: "The sapper was directing a lorry which had to be off-loaded by his road party. The lorry, which was moving at about 2 mph, caught one of his feet. He was thrown down and the hind wheel of the lorry passed over both his legs".

An extract from William Case's Attestation papers

An extract from the Accident report into William Case's death

His possessions were returned to his father on 18th June 1918 and comprised 1 disc, letters, Christmas cards, a pocket wallet, a razor in a case, metal cigarette case, a pocket knife, 2 cap badges, 1 pair metal numerals, and a metal ring.

In July 1919, his mother completed a 'Next of Kin' declaration for pension purposes. This listed his family as his father Henry, mother Mary and sister Elizabeth (aged 30), all living at the Sewage farm, Prescot, brother George, 24, living in Lytham and married sister Margaret Ellen Attwood, 38, living in Huyton Quarry. As with so many of these forms, the witness was Councillor William Lucas.

The Parish Magazine of 25th March 1918 added 6 names to the existing 100 who had already fallen, including 'Sapper William Case, 31, Royal Engineers. Died in hospital in France 7th March 1918. Lived at the Sewage Farm House'.

William Case's grave at Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery

Private Case's Medal Index Card lists his entitlement to the British War Medal and Victory Medal. It also shows details of his initial service with the Royal Engineers, then with the South Wales Borderers and King's (Liverpool) Regiment, before moving back to the Royal Engineers.[/caption/]

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