Saturday, 19 March 2016

William Montgomery 1893-1917 age 23

 Barnsley Chronicle 2nd June 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives 
Born: 17th October 1893 in Barnsley

Son of: William Henry Montgomery (1866-1927, died age 61) and Christiana Montgomery nee Shepherd. William Henry was a grocer and the couple had 3 children, but only their son William survived infancy. Daughter Beatrice died in 1895 aged 7 weeks, and their son George died in 1900 aged 3 years and 6 months.  Their son William was unmarried.  The family lived in Summer Lane, Barnsley before moving to Blenheim Road, Barnsley by the time of William's death. 

Military Service: William was a Private in the York and Lancaster Regiment, 13th Battalion (the 1st Barnsley Pals) service number 649.

Death: 15th May 1917, killed in action in France

Buried: Albuera Cemetery, Bailleul - Sire - Berthoult, France in grave ref South C.17.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  

The Barnsley Chronicle on 26th May 1917 reported:
Private William Montgomery, the only son of Mr and Mrs Montgomery of 48 Blenheim Road, Barnsley, has made the great sacrifice at the age of 23 years. He was one of the first to join the Barnsley Pals Battalion and through hereditary instincts he took an enthusiastic interest in soldiering. Prior to joining the Battalion in September 1914, he worked at the warehouse at Messrs Richardson, Tee and Ryecroft's factory, Pitt Street, and was held in high esteem by his colleagues at the mill and by a host of Barnsley friends. Last November he sustained a gunshot wound in the thigh and was temporarily buried in a dug out, but he made a quick recovery from the injury and was soon back in the firing line. Profound sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Montgomery in the loss of their only son. They have been much comforted by the receipt of a letter received from Lieut. Huggard. "Tonight (the officer wrote) I have one of the saddest duties a man could have to perform when I write to tell you of the death of your son. This will be a shock to you; it has been a shock to me and and to all his pals. Your son was in one of the finest sections of the platoon in controlling the Lewis gun, and he had some good friends who miss him very much. It was soon after midnight last night when your son, with most of the lads in the platoon, were doing a job of great importance close to the front line when a shell burst amongst them, killing two and wounding four others besides your son William, who died soon afterwards. He had not much pain for the stretcher bearers gave him something to numb it. It seems a shame that such a fine young lad as your son was should be taken away but we must bow to the will of Almighty God. Your son died besides his pals for the sake of his home and country. I was his Platoon Commander but have been moved to another Company, otherwise I should have been with him at the time, for I always shared their dangers with them." [...]

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