William Bower was born on the 5th July 1892 in Bradford, the son of William Bower and Ellen, nee Mawson.He was baptised in Manningham on the 31st July 1892. William had three sisters, Maggie born 1893, Doris born 1896 and Gladys born 1898.By 1901 the family had moved to 26 Hatfield Road in the parish of St Augustine and the father was working as a hairdresser. Unfortunately William snr died in 1902 at the age of 33 years and his widow Ellen was left to raise her four children. In 1911 the family were living at 2 Fletton Terrace, Edith working as a dressmaker, William in the spinning wool business, Maggie in a twisting
woollen mill and Doris in the spinning woollen mill.In September 1914 William enlisted in the Prince of Wales Own West Yorkshire Regiment and at the time of his enlistment he was employed by the Corporation Tramways Department. This regiment was formed in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor of Bradford becoming known as the Bradford Pals.On a home leave on the 3rd July 1915 William married at Bolton Parish Church. He is shown as a soldier, 23 years of age, living at 3 Park Place, Bolton.
The bride was Lily Jenkinson, 19 years of age of the same address. She is shown as the daughter of John Jenkinson deceased. Their son William was born in 1915.William’s regiment moved to Egypt in December 1915 arriving there on the 6th December before being transferred to France in March 1916 in readiness for the big push on the Somme. Between the 12th September and the 12th October 1918 a series of large scale offensive operations were carried out by the British who broke through a 20 mile portion of the Hindenburg line between Cambrai and the St Quentin canal
and these victories rank among the greatest-ever British Military achievement with very few casualties. William who had survived the Somme and three years of fighting was unlucky enough to be injured and died of his wounds on the 9th October 1918. At the time of his death he was 26 years old and had been promoted to Sgt. 16/1179.William was buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery.His widow Lily received the sum of £40. 12. 1d on the 8th April 1919, and the War gratuity earned by William of £25. 11. 0dResearched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks.