William Findlay (1893-1917) – Pte 32983 11th Bn The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)William Findlaywas the only son of Douglas and Nicholas (sic) Sarah Jane Findlay (nee McKie). Although the family came originally from Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, William was born near Gateshead in Co Durham in 1893, however his younger sister was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, and by the 1911 census the family were settled at “Barns Green Farm”. William’s father was a farmer “on his own account” in Barns Green but William did not follow the family trade and in the census he is recorded as a chauffeur’s assistant.Although William’s service record has not survived we know that he served with the 11thRoyal Lancaster Regiment and his number suggests a relatively late (1916/17) sign up. This could well have been due to the fact that William simply did not meet the height criteria for enlistment earlier in the war. The 11thRoyal Lancasters were a “bantam” Battalion – a battalion formed of men who did not meet the regular battalion requirement for being at least 5’3” tall. The 11thRL took men from 5’ to 5’2” and recruited specifically on these criteria.Being a little on the short side certainly had no impact on the Battalion’s ability to fight however and following their posting to France in June 1916 with the 120th Brigade, 40th Division they were soon on the front line near Loos. William is not listed on the 2ndJune 1916 nominal roll for the Battalion but must have joined a little later as it was with the 11thLancasters in April 1917 that he was wounded and died.On the 25thApril 1917 the War Diary reports that the B and D companies of the Battalion were in action in a captured German trench at Beaucamp near Cambrai and it is further reported, unusually for Other Ranks, that it was here that Pte 32983 William Findlay of D Company was wounded.Four days later he died of his wounds in a military hospital near Rouen and is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. He is remembered on the Itchingfield War Memorial in St Nicholas Church and on the family grave in Itchingfield Churchyard.For his service he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals..