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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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William Eyre (1879-1915) - Capt 12 th Bn Royal Welsh Regiment (att 1 st Lancashire Fusiliers) William Eyre was born on the 25 th March 1879, the only son of miller and farmer William Eyre and his wife Mary (nee Padgin) in Cresswell, Derbyshire. William is still living at home in the 1891 census, although the family have moved to Retford in Nottinghamshire, and he was in turn both a pupil and then later a master at King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford. According to “The Retfordian” alumni magazine of summer 1924 …”He first came to the School in September, 1889, and distinguished himself both in scholastic work and in the cricket field. After having matriculated at London University he left in July, 1895, and went to Firth College at Sheffield, from where he took his London B.Sc. with honours. He returned to Retford, as Science Master in 1899, and remained with us till 1906. He then went to Cranbrook Grammar School, and a year later was appointed Science Master at Christ's Hospital.” He took an active role in the Christ’s Hospital Officer Training Corps and by 1908 had attained the rank of Captain and was attached to the Territorial Force. In December 1914 he applied for a commission in the army and was appointed Captain in the 8 th Welsh Fusiliers on 7 th December 1914. William was soon transferred to the 12 th Battalion and then attached to the 1 st Lancashire Fusiliers with whom he went to Gallipoli in July 1915. In August 1915 he was with the Regiment near their arrival point at Gully Beach. The next few days were taken up with alternately manning the trenches and various barricades and it was on the 7 th August, whilst moving to reinforce the north and south barricades that William was wounded. The War Diary gives little detail other than the fact that during this operation A and C Companies came under attack and a number of casualties were sustained. William’s wound was serious and he was shipped straightaway to hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, arriving there on the 10 th August. His casualty form and the notes from the 19 th General Hospital state that he had been shot in the chest and despite medical attention he died from these wounds on the 19 th August. William Eyre was buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery. He is also commemorated at his old school in Retford where a Fives court, endowed by his mother in her son’s memory, carries a memorial tablet, and on War Memorials in St Michaels’ Church Retford and in the Market Square, Retford. For his service he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. His service record survives and can be found at the National Archives in Kew.
The Fallen