Morris, William, Private, 27062, 11th Battalion, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment
Born Wilston Stow, Shropshire
Enlisted Derby
Resided Allenton, Derbyshire
Killed in action 12th February 1916 aged 38
Husband of Emily Mary Morris, of 35, Harrington St., Allenton, Derby.
Buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois Grenier, F, 45

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Research carried out by his granddaughter, Shirley, suggests that the person listed on the 1911 census at Vale Street is not this William Morris.

William was born on Sunday 14th April 1878, at Winstanstow / Craven Arms Village, Shropshire to William Morris, farm labourer and Sarah (formerly Lewis). Emily Mary Foulkes’s parents moved from Hanley to Newport Shropshire.

They married in the parish church of Newport on Sunday 2nd June 1901, William aged 23, Emily 20, William a Groom at Whitewell, Flintshire, and Emily a Domestic Servant. Williams father was a gamekeeper and Emily's father Edward was a gardener.
The address for their children is Liverpool and Watery Lane, it is assumed that William had lost his job after making unmarried Emily pregnant.
They had at least six children; Edith, Herbert, Edward, John, Phyllis and Charles.
Emily remained a domestic servant most of her young life as females were not educated. William also stayed in service as a coachman and groom, moving about until settling in Derby, bringing five of their children with them, Charles being the youngest at one or two years old. Their address was 35 Harrington Street, Allenton, Derby.

It is thought that William found it hard to find employment and enlisted as Private 27062 in the Notts and Derby Regiment, as it was known then, in December 1915.
He served in the 11th Battalion, which was formed in Derby at part of the Kitcheners army. After training he was sent to France.
The 11th Notts were with the 70th Brigade, 23rd Division. The 11th were in the trenches around Bois-Grenier, south of Armentieres, France, when the enemy shelled the lines on 12/13th February 1916.
In the book ‘The Men From the Greenwood’ being the War History of the 11th (Service) Battalion Sherwood Foresters by Percy Fryer, it states a number of casualties occurred as a result of heavy shelling by the enemy at Jay Post. On 12/13th of February 200 to 300 shells each day were thrown into the sector.
William Morris was mentioned in the Battalion war diary as being killed as a result of particularly heavy artillery fire between 2:30 pm and 4pm on the 12th February. This was in the Well Farm Salient and Jay Post in the Fleubaix sector.
He was killed in action on Saturday 12th February 1916 aged 38. His grave is at Y-Farm military cemetery, Bois-Grenier, south of Armentieres, Lille, France.
He was entitled to the 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, with his name around the edge.

Emily stayed in the family home of 35 Harrington Street, bringing up her children until her death on Monday 28th October 1957, aged 76. She is laid to rest in Markeaton Cemetery, Derby.


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