Name: William Keir Little
DoB: July 30 1879.
Regt: Private 4923 Kensington Battalion London Regt.
DoD: Killed in action October 5 1916.
Academic Career: CGS 1892-96
son of the late William Little, Esq.; care of Mrs. Little, 73 South Petteril Street.
William was the elder son of William and Jane M Church. Keir was his maternal grandmother’s name. The family originated in Scotland and in 1881 they were living in Dumfriesshire where William’s father farmed 4000 acres and employed four men and a boy. By 1891 Jane was a widow and living in Carlisle. William had older half-sisters, Jane Mary, Christian (sic) and Eleanor, that his father had with his first wife Jane Margaret Cochrane, who died in 1873 of TB. Agnes Hepburn was his eldest full sister, and his younger siblings were Elliot and Norah. In 1901 Mrs Little was living on Petteril Street with Agnes and Norah and by 1911 she and Agnes had moved to Melcombe Regis. In 1911 William was a visitor in Quex Street, Kilburn London in a boarding house living on own means.
He enlisted at Battersea into the 13th County of London Battalion (Princess Louise or Kensington) Soldier Number 4923 , which became part of the 56th Division in February 1916.
The 56th was involved in every part of the Battle of the Somme. Following the Battle of Morval (25-27 September) the 56th Division relieved the Guards Division and the 6th Division in the region of Les Boeufs.
William was killed between this date and the Battle of the Transloy Ridges (7-20 October). The attack had been due to start on 5 October but was postponed due to bad weather. The bombardment opened up therefore on 6 October, with the assault itself beginning the day after. As William died on 5 October, it is clear casualties were taking place throughout this period.
1/13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington)
August 1914 : at Iverna Gardens. Part of 4th London Brigade, 2nd London
Division. Moved on mobilisation to Abbots Langley.
4 November 1914 : left the Division and landed at Le Havre.
13 November 1914 : came under command of 25th Brigade in 8th Division.
20 May 1915 : transferred to GHQ Troops and formed a composite unit with 1/5th
and 1/12th Bns. Resumed identity 11 August.
11 February 1916 : transferred to 168th Brigade in 56th (London) Division.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Census: 1911 RG14; Piece: 626; 1911RG14; Piece: 12341; 1901 RG13; Piece: 4867; 1891 RG12/4291; 1881 Scotland Census via www.ancestry.co.uk
c) The Long Long Trail website for details of the London Regiment