Name: William Ewart Gladstone Wise
DoB: April 24 1894
Regt: Gunner 67343 Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
DoD: October 29 1916
Academic Career: CGS 1907-9
William Ewart Gladstone served four terms as Liberal Prime Minister; his final term ending in 1894, the year our Willliam was born. His father may have just been a farm labourer and dock labourer at Causewayhead, Silloth, but his political affiliations are clear. William was the youngest of six children. In the 1911 Census, aged 16, he is described as a farmer’s son working at home. Father Richard is now a farmer. The family has seven rooms at Park House, Silloth for the parents, Richard and Isabella, William and sister Sarah; his older siblings having left home by this time.
He won the Longcake Scholarship to the Grammar School for three years. He was in the school’s Rugby team in 1909.
When Gladstone Wise enlisted and became a gunner the teachers and choir of St Paul’s Causeway Head presented him with a wristlet watch as a token of their esteem.
Willam is reported as being killed in action on the Somme in October 1916.
The Cumberland News reported that the officer under whom “Gladdy Wise” served said: “He was killed instantaneously when in action on the gun by an enemy shell. He had been the battery signaller for a long time, and a very good one too, and we shall be the poorer for his loss. I had offered him promotion quite recently, but he did not want it.”
He is buried at Courcelette Cemetery. The Battle of the Somme actually lasted nearly 5 months and actually involved several distinct actions. The Battle of Flers-Courcelette took place in September 1916. The Battle of Ancre Heights was going on at the time William was killed. These campaigns were all part of the Somme’s Big Push
Bill worked for his father after he left school. He was a keen Silloth Rugby player.
One of his cousins, William Wise was killed at Gallipoli, and another, Richard was killed in Mesopotamia. His only brother Robert served with the RFA.
- a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
- b) Census: 1911RG14PN31381; 1901 RG 13/4876; 1891 RG12/4298; 1881 RG11/5168; 1871 RG10/5229; 1861 RG9/3928[/toggle]
- c)The Cumberland News 18 November 1916 and 2 December 1916
- d) Mrs Graham, great niece