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  • 3709 Private William Atkin was killed in action on the 11 March 1915 during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial. Visited, cross laid and photo taken by John Morse.
Person Details
Nottingham
William was the son of James and Elizabeth Atkin. James and Elizabeth had six children: George b. 1889, William b. 1895 (J/A/S Nottingham), Florence (Florrie) b. 1897 (A/M/J Nottingham), Nellie (Nelly) b. 1899 (J/A/S Nottingham), Rebecca (Beccy) b. 14 July 1902 (J/A/S Nottingham) and Edith b. 1905. All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1901 James (33), a threader and winder (lace), his wife Elizabeth (35), a clipper and scalloper (lace) were living at 8 Eyre Road, Nottingham. They had four children: George (12), William (5), Florence (4) and Nelly (2). By 1911 James(44) was working as a general labourer. He and Elizabeth were living at 5 Warren Court, Old Street, St Ann's, Nottingham, with their children George (21), William (16), Florrie (14), Nelly(11), Beccy (9) and Edith (6). Neither Nellie nor Edith were named on a form completed for the Army by their mother in 1919 listing their brother William's surviving blood relatives and it is probable that both died in 1913 as there is a record of a Nellie Atkin b. abt 1900 whose death at the age of 13 was registered in 1913 (J/F/M Nottingham, buried 3 February) and an Edith Atkin b abt. 1905 whose death at the age of 8 was also registered in 1913 (J/A/S Nottingham, buried 10 July). William's brother, George, also served in the Sherwood Foresters during the war. He too had enlisted in the Special Reserve (April 1913) and was also mobilized on 5 August 1914; he was killed in action in France on 19 September 1918 (Chapelle British Cemetery, Holnon). George left a widow, Ellen, and a daughter Florence Rebecca. The form completed by William's mother in 1919 listing his surviving blood relatives named the following: Father & Mother: James and Elizabeth Atkin 2 Warren Court, Old Street, St Ann’s Brothers: none Sisters: Florence Campbell (21) 6 Wollaton Place, Woolpack Lane, Rebecca Atkin (17) 2 Warren Court, Old Street, St Ann’s His sister Florence had married William J Cambell in 1918 (A/M/J Nottingham); William also served in France during the war. Rebecca probably married Frank Mason in 1919 (O/N/D Nottingham) and died aged 74 in 1976 (December Nottingham)
William was a factory lace hand according to his enlistment papers (6 January 1914)
11 Mar 1915
823530 - CWGC Website
3709
Nottingham
Private
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
3709 Private William Atkin enlisted on 6 January 1914 as a special reservist in the 3rd Reserve battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). He was listed as aged 18 years and 256 days of age and 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was mobilized on the outbreak of war (5 August 1914) and on 11 December 1914 joined the 1st battalion in France. William was admitted to 24 Field Ambulance on 18 January 1915 with 'sore feet' which was either trench foot or mild frostbite. He was discharged on 22 January and returned to the battalion. The Battle of Neuve Chapelle began on 10 March 1915 and the battalion made good progress on the first day. On 11th at 10am C company advanced north-east through the orchard on the left of the line and occupied some broken down houses. The battalion was then shelled all day and at 4pm 'D' company charged the enemy's breastworks but suffered heavy losses from machine gun fire and abandoned the attack. At 4.30pm a draft of 25 new men joined the battalion. At some point in the above engagement William was killed. He had served a total of 1year 65 days. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France. John Morse
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 14 April 1915: ‘Atkin. Killed in action, March 11th, Private William Atkin, 1st Sherwood Foresters, the dearly-beloved son of James and Elizabeth Atkin, 2, Warren-court, off St Ann’s Street, Nottingham. He gave his life that we may live.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) William's personal possessions were returned to his father at 2 Warren Court, St Ann's; these amounted on one identity disc.
Remembered on

Photos

  • 3709 Private William Atkin was killed in action on the 11 March 1915 during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial. Visited, cross laid and photo taken by John Morse.
    William Atkin name on Memorial - 3709 Private William Atkin was killed in action on the 11 March 1915 during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial. Visited, cross laid and photo taken by John Morse.
  • Photograph was published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 21st April 1915 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    William Atkin - Photograph was published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 21st April 1915 and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918