Made with Xara
© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
Return Return
William Findlay (1893-1917) – Pte 32983 11 th  Bn The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) William   Findlay    was   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   11 th    Royal   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   11 th    Royal   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   11 th    RL   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 120 th  Brigade, 40 th  Division they were soon on the front line near Loos. William   is   not   listed   on   the   2 nd    June   1916   nominal   roll   for   the   Battalion   but   must   have   joined   a   little   later   as   it   was   with   the   11 th   Lancasters  in April 1917 that he was wounded and died. On   the   25 th    April   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. .
The Fallen