‚ÄčRoyton Roll of Honour

The men of the battalion who are listed as having been killed on July 31st are below. The three names at the bottom, including that of a man from Shaw, died on August 1st.

ARMITAGE FRANK Private 49681 from Halifax  
BLAKE RALPH 26 Corporal 350008 from Wigan  
BROOK HARRY 26 Private 49686 from Milnsbridge,Huddersfield  
BURTON JOHN Serjeant 331442 from Liverpool  
BUTTERFIELD FRED Private 49697 from Bradford  
CANNING CHARLES Private 330538 from Cheshire  
CARTY JAMES Private 49701 born Mayo, lived Huddersfield  
CHRISTIAN JOHN 19  Lance Corporal 350015 from West Kirkby  
EDGE JOHN 37 Private 203809 from Liverpool  
ELLISON WILLIAM Lance Corporal 330849 from Liverpool  
FENELON MICHAEL 31 Private 204232 from Liverpool  
GASKELL RICHARD Private 331063 from Upholland  
GERRARD WILLIAM 33 Private 202872 from Liverpool  
GREENWOOD EDWARD 19 Private 308641 from Rochdale  
GRIFFITHS HARRY Private 332734 from Bury  
HALL TOM 31 Lance Corporal 332599 from Middleton, enlisted Oldham  
HARWOOD THOMAS 38 Private 332837 from Burnley  
HICKSON JAMES 30 Second Lieutenant from Birkenhead  
HILTON ALFRED MM Private 330330 from Liverpool  
HOUGH THOMAS Private 350042 from Birkenhead  
INMAN ALLAN 19 Private 49750 from Leeds  
JACKSON REGINALD Private 332852 from Liverpool  
KELLETT JOHN  Private 332825 from Douglas,Isle of Man  
KELLY PHILIP 27 Private 332740 from Middleton   
KELLY PHILIP 21 Private 307935 from Isle of Man  
LAIRD REGINALD Private 350057 from Birkenhead  
LEIGHTON JOSEPH 21 Private 350058 from Birkenhead  
LEWIN STEPHEN 29 Private 204234 from Liverpool  
LYON JAMES Serjeant 330847 from Ormskirk  
MULHOLLAND JAMES Corporal 330345 from Liverpool  
McGORRIN JAMES 36 Private 307956 from Co.Leitrim  
McGUINNESS JAMES 19 Private 232804 from Liverpool  
PARKINSON RICHARD 20  Private 203845 from Preston  
RICHARDSON THOMAS 26 Private 330230 from Liverpool  
SMITH JOHN Private 332822 enlisted Ormskirk  
TONGE FRANK 28 Private 332556 from Manchester  
VALENTINE ROLAND Private 203996 from Leyland  
WALTERS SIDNEY 19 Private 332847 from Liverpool  
WHITTLE ABRAHAM 32 Private 202871 from Skelmersdale  
WILLIS JAMES Private 204223 from Liverpool  
WRIGHT ALBERT Private 333003 from Liscard,Cheshire  
BLACKHAM JOHN 22 Private 350096 from Wolverhampton  
CHRISTIAN WILLIAM Private 331684 from Liverpool  
FAUSSET STUART 26 Lieutenant from Belfast  
PARR JOHN Private 332873 from Bickerstaffe,Lancs  
PEMBERTON GEORGE 19 Private 350073 from Wallasey  
PLANT JOHN Private 331742 from Liverpool  
TURNBULL ROBERT 26 Private 332711 from Liverpool  

LUDWIG JOHN 30 Lance Corporal 330488 from Liverpool 
RADCLIFFE HERBERT 25 Private 332598 from Shaw 
SIMPSON JOHN 24 MC Second Lieutenant from New Brighton

                 WILLIAM SNEYD                  
Date of Death:01/08/1917
Service No:405359
Regiment:The King's(Liverpool Regiment)
Unit:1st/9th Bn.
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Grave Ref:XVI.J.1A

William Sneyd was born in West Hartlepool in 1893 to parents Thomas, a solicitors clerk originally from Stafford, and Julia who had been born in Doncaster. William had at least three younger siblings;Julia (born 1896),Annie (1902) & Fred (1907)
At the time of the 1901 census the family were living in West Hartlepool but by the time of the 1911 one, William had moved to Rotherham. Then he was a 17 year old and lodging at the home of the manager of the drapers and grocery store where he worked as an apprentice. William was still in Rotherham in 1913 when on September 4th of that year he joined the Coldstream Guards. He served with the Guards for only 8 months before being discharged on May 15th 1914 with the reason given in his pension record as 'services no longer required'.
Upon or shortly after his discharge it seems William moved to Oldham to take up a position at Messrs Buckley & Procters which was a department store on Union Street. William enlisted back into the army in Oldham in February 1915 and was at first a Lancashire Fusilier. Whilst still on home duty he married Mary Agnes Hopkins at St.Paul's in Royton on March 25th 1916. Mary appears in the 1911 census living with her parents at 9 Dogford Road and worked as a dressmaker.
After William's death the Oldham Chronicle gave Mary's address as 191 Rochdale Road.
While still in England William had gained sergeant's stripes but according to the Chronicle he had to relinquish them due to ill health. He won them again but upon going on active service he had to relinquish them once more. Due to the length of time between William enlisting and going on active service it's probable he suffered ill health for some time.
William was finally sent out for active service in the summer of 1917 and like many men he found himself allocated to a completely different regiment - The King's Liverpool Regiment in his case.
William's new battalion was the 1st/9th The King's, a pre war territorial unit from Everton (& from 1908 also recruiting from Ormskirk). There was still a majority presence of men from the Liverpool area in the ranks but losses since landing in France in March 1915 meant that the Liverpudlian character of the unit had been diluted somewhat.
It's not known on exactly which date William joined the Battalion but as the Oldham Chronicle stated he had been at the front for five weeks before his death it's likely he was amongst the 109 other ranks who met up with 1st/9th behind the lines near Ypres at the village of Boisdighem. A couple of days later they moved to Moringhem where training began in earnest for the Battalion's role in the opening day of the Battle of Passchendaele. Later in the month they were engaged in work helping the Royal Engineers as the British Army prepared once again to go onto the offensive.
The British attack began at 03:50 on July 31st but the 1st/9th's part in the battle began at 04:30. Their objectives were taken after some hard fighting and many Germans were taken prisoner. Many men fell under the fire of a valiant lone German machine gunner on top of a concrete dugout. A tank eventually arrived and it's fire killed the soldier who was found stretched out dead on top of the dugout surrounded by hundreds of empty cartidge cases. From 11:00 until 16:00 the men of the 1st/9th King's consolidated their newly won positions whilst under German artillery fire. It's possible
that William survived the day and was mortally wounded the following as the Battalion held the line but it's more likely that he received his wounds on July 31st. He passed away in the 17th Casualty Clearing Station on August 1st 1917.

Within two weeks William's widow Mary back home in Royton received the official notification that he had died. Shortly after the war she was living in Seaforth near Liverpool, whether this has any connection to her husband having served with a local unit is not known. She later moved to Blackpool and died there in 1965.