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Date of Death:23/08/1918
Regiment:The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Cemetery:Becourt Military Cemetery
Grave Reference:II. D. 8.
William was born in Mossley but whilst still an infant,he and his older sister Edith, moved to Middleton along with parents William snr & Lizzie.William senior worked in the cotton industry and by 1911 had got a job as manager of the Belgian Mill in Royton. William was enrolled at Blackshaw Lane school and the family attended St.Anne's Church with William junior attended the Sunday School there also.Before the war took him away from Royton he worked as a clerk in the office of the Fir Mill. He joined the army in early 1915 and was first with the Royal Army Service Corps behind the lines in France but at some point (perhaps mid 1916) he was transferred to a frontline infantry unit,the 7th Battalion of the The Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment.
William met his end on August 23rd,1918 during an attack on the Germans entrenched at a point called Tara Hill,which is near Albert. They had originally been due to attack at midnight of the 22/23rd but this was later put back to 04:45.At 01:00 on the morning of the 23rd the battalion marched through Albert to their assembly positions just east of the town.By 03:15 everyone was in their place.After a 90 minute wait the British artillery barrage began and tanks arrived to advance along the
infantry. The men were under machine gun fire but pressed on well,at around 6am there were casualties from misdirected British howitzers. At 06:20 the final objective was reached,the men pushed on but ran into their own protective barrage so withdrew to the,now vacated,German trenches on Tara Hill. During what looks on paper like a fairly textbook operation William Bottomley and 26 other unfortunates from his battalion (there were other British units involved also) were killed in action.
The other men to fall were:
AKEHURST HUBERT 18 Private 30410 SON OF MR&MRS AKEHURST OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS.
ATTERBURY J Private 72349
BALL THOMAS 19 Private 72373 SON OF WILLIT AND EMMA BALL OF NEWARK.
BARKER H A 19 Private 25324 SON OF FRED AND JULIA BARKER OF WOOD GREEN
BARRY JOHN 20 Private 241937 SON OF JOHN AND LIZZIE BARRY OF BEXLEYHEATH
BEARMAN CECIL LAWRENCE 21 Second Lieutenant SON OF CECIL AND ROSE BEARMAN OF THORNTON HEATH
BIRD T G Private 72352
BOLTON CHARLES 27 Private 24941 SON OF MRS. JANE BOLTON OF LIVERPOOL
BOULTON ALBERT 19 Private G/72353 SON OF MRS. CLARA BOULTON OF DERBY.
BRANSON S H Private72356
CHURCHOUSE HENRY 19 Private G/69975 SON OF HENRY AND ADA CHURCHOUSE OF ISLINGTON COOK W S E Corporal 242530
DORE JACK 19 Private T/205130 SON OF ALBERT AND JEMIMA DORE OF READING
ELLIS AMOS 28 Private 6921 HUSBAND OF ELLEN ELLIS OF ELY
FOX A 20 Private 72407 SON OF FRED AND MARY FOX OF ALFRETON
GANT L H Private 25901
GINIVER H G L Private 72413
GORDINE W A Private 25011
JELLEY SIDNEY 26 MM Lance Serjeant 1169 SON OF CHRISTOPHER AND EDITH JELLEY OF CRONDALL, HANTS.
MARSH ALFRED 19 Private 68695 SON OF JOHN WALTER AND HARRIETT MARSH OF SOUTHEND
MASTERS WILLIAM 34 Private 37569 HUSBAND OF EMMA MASTERS OF NORTH FINCHLEY
PARKS JOSEPH 28 Serjeant 37702 HUSBAND OF MABEL TAYLOR OF SOUTH NUTFIELD, SURREY.
TATTON H 18 Private 72320 SON OF MR. J. TATTON OF LEEK
TUDGE W G A Private 206327
WHITE ALFRED 31 DCM Lance Corporal 35409 SON OF MR. ALFRED WHITE,HAMPTON WICK
WILLIAMS WILLIAM 18 Private 72315 SON OF GEORGE T. AND ELIZABETH WILLIAMS OF WOLVERHAMPTON.