William Chamberlain

21056, Private, 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment

Killed in Action on the 1st July 1916 aged 27

The grave of Private William Chamberlain at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.

William was the son of Sarah Chamberlain of 6 Bowling Green, Stevenage. He enlisted in the Army on the 23rd May 1910 joining the Bedfordshire Regiment, with the Regimental Number 9619. He served continuously with the battalion until the outbreak of the Great War, and was posted to France on the 6th October 1914.

On the 3rd November 1914, when the Battalion was situated at Inverness Copse near Gheluvelt, Belgium, William was wounded when their trenches were shelled by German artillery. A few days later on the 9th November 1915 he was transferred to the ranks of the 2nd Border Regiment.

William and a another Stevenage man, Harold Holdron were  to be killed in the most renowned battle of all, the first day of The Battle of the Somme, where the British army suffered devastating casualties. He fell when his battalion was involved in the assault on Mametz. The attack began at 07.27am with the Battalion being given the task of capturing a series of German trenches named; Danube Trench, Apple Alley, Shrine Alley and Hidden Lane.

The troops met with heavy machine gun fire from the village of Mametz as well as from Fricourt which was to their left. Eventually, they managed to achieve all their objectives but had suffered 343 casualties, including William Chamberlain.

He is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France. (9.I.4.)

Medal Entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal

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