Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park & St Luke’s; Menin Gate Memorial
Regiment: Durham Light Infantry
William Gordon Penrice
William Gordon Penrice was born in 1891 the son of Joseph and Sarah Ellen, nee Webster.William’s father Joseph died in 1909 aged 50 years and by 1911 the family had moved to 320 Junction Mount, Idle Road. William, at 19 years of age, was working as a cashier for Messrs Wertheimer, Whitehead and Co. William married on the 7th of July 1915 at Otley Road Chapel, St Augustine’s Terrace. His bride was Constance Kitson who was 25 years of age, a clerk of 710 Bolton Road and the daughter of Herbert Kitson, a clerk. When William enlisted he gave his address as the family home at 320 Junction Mount, Eccleshill.
He enlisted on the 17th of March 1916 in the West Yorkshire Regiment as a Private and was soon recognised as a promising recruit and rapidly promoted to sergeant.He was selected for a commission and after having undergone a course of training he was gazetted to the Durham Light Infantry as 2nd Lieutenant going to France in May 1917. He was killed in action on 7 June 1917 during the Arras Offensive in his first engagement. His commanding officer sent a
letter to Constance – “We all liked him. Your husband fell leading his men in one of the most complete victories of the war. He fell dead and can have suffered no pain. “His body was well behind the German second line when we found it. He had therefore done, and had done well, what he was told to do and had led his men to victory before giving his life for his country. “I am very sorry to lose so good an officer, as are all his brother officers”.
William was 26 years of age.Despite the fact that his Commanding Officer informed his widow that his body had been found he is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial for the missing who died in the Ypres Salient and whose graves are unknown.In his Will which was probated on the 20th of September 1917 William gave his address as 710 Cliffe-Mount and left effects of £124.13.6d to his widow Constance Penrice. He also left his Army effects to Constance who received £35.13.8d on the 10th January 1918 and a War Gratuity of £5.10.0d on the 25th November 1919.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks