William Strong

Born 1892 – Died 11th June 1916

18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

William James Strong was born in London in late 1892, the eldest son of William and Annie Strong. By 1911 William, aged 18, was living in Waterend House, Wheathampstead and acting as assistant farm manager for his father, a farmer and cattle dealer. He enlisted into the 18th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. This was a 'Bantam Regiment' raised in January 1915 in Bury and formed from men who were under the regulation height of 5ft. 3 ins., mainly miners and farm workers, who were physically strong. We have no details of William's height. The Battalion landed in France in January 1916 and was involved in holding the Allied line. William, by then an acting Lieutenant, was killed on the 11th June 1916 near Bethune. He was 23.

He is remembered with Honour in the Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery, Richebourg-l’Avoue, Pas de Calais, France.1.F.7.

From the Herts Advertiser and St. Albans Times, Saturday June 24 1916 'In reference to the death in action on June 11th of Second Lieut. William J. Strong of the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Strong of Waterend, Wheathampstead, which was announced in last weeks “Herts Advertiser” the following letter has been received by Mr Strong from the Colonel of his son’s battalion:- “It is with a sad heart that I write to tell you that your dear son was killed last night when returning to our lines after a raid. I cannot express on paper how much I feel for you and yours in your great sorrow. He was the most popular officer in my battalion with all ranks, and without exaggeration, I may say that he was loved by his men. Always so cheerful and full of humour, he has done excellent work since his arrival, and I had only recently recommended him for promotion. He was my best patrol officer, being absolutely fearless, and always so cool and collected. During a recent bombardment he showed exceptional courage and initiative, and for his service on this occasion was personally thanked both by the Divisional and Brigadier-Generals. Had he lived he would most certainly have been awarded the Military Cross for his work last night. I feel his loss both as an officer and a friend more than I can express on paper.'

No record of attending St John's School



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