Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park & St Luke’s; Thiepval Memorial
Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers
William Henry Rhodes
William Henry Rhodes. named for his grandfather, was born in Bradford in 1894 the son of Joseph and Alice Harriet, nee Trett.In 1901 the family were living at 5a Grant Street. Five children had been born. By 1911 the family had moved to 51 Oxford Road, Undercliffe and two more children had been born.Joseph was now an employer of wire workers including 17 year old William.On the 11th September 1915 at St Luke’s Church, Eccleshill, William married Bertha Parkinson. William was 21 years of age and gave his occupation as a pultrey painter living at 51 Oxford Road.
Bertha was 22 years of age living at 2 Boundary Place, Eccleshill and the daughter of Charles Chappell Parkinson, a fancy goods maker. William and Bertha went to live with Bertha’s parents where their son Richard was born later that year.William then enlisted in October 1915 as Private 40464 in the 16th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. The Battalion landed at Boulogne on the 22nd November 1915 and remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the War.
It is likely that William joined his Battalion before the Somme offensive which was involved in the Battle of Albert, the Battle of Bazentin and the Battle of Ancre. At some point during his service William was promoted to Lance Corporal. Their next commitment was during the Operations on the Ancre from the 11th of January to the 13th of March 1917 and William was killed in action on the first day of the operation to capture Ten Tree Alley on the 10th of February 1917. He was 23 years of age.
He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial which records the names of the men who fell on the Somme battlefields and whose bodies were never recovered for burial.A report of his death which appeared in the Shipley Times & Express on 1 June 1917, added “This pathetic news so affected his wife that she passed away and was buried on May 1st.” She was 24 years old.Their son Richard was raised by his maternal grandparents. William had left his effects to his father-in-law Charles Parkinson who received £6.0.7d on the 6th July 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 5th November 1919.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks