13 April 2009

18081 Pte William Bone

William James Bone was born in Mile End in 1876/7. It was in Poplar that he married Sarah Ann Lawson from Bromley (now Bromley-By-Bow). He became a bookbinder by trade and in 1901 had a son, also named William. By this time the family were living in Bromley at 31, Knapp Road.

Knapp Road and the surrounding streets were later totally flattened in WW2, but there is a small terrace of houses which survive to indicate the pleasant road it once was. By 1911, the family was living at 43 Eldred Road in Barking, beside the Tube lines.

When War came, William signed on the line and became Pte 18081 Bone and went over with the Originals in 1915. He was reported wounded in the Essex Chronicle of 15th September 1916. This list seems to include the 13th Essex casualties from 8th August 1916 during the night assault on Waterlot Farm (the sugar beet refinery area) at Guillemont when the Battalion suffered 90 casualties, mainly from C and D Companies.

William was badly shell shocked during this engagement, and never again spoke of the conflict for the rest of his life. His Gt-Grandson Andy and his father are sure Williams face appears in an episode about Delville Wood in the recent documentary series "Last Voices Of WW1 - Horror In The Mud".

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