Name: William Sinclair
DoB: September 29 1897
Regt: Private. London Regt. Manchester Regiment
DoD: Missing, presumed killed in action, Sept. 11-12, 1917.
Academic Career: C.C.. Minor Scholar, 1910. CGS 1910-13.
Other: Civil Service, boy clerk.
William was the son of William and Jane Sinclair of Lanarkshire, Scotland. His father was a railway clerk in the 1901 census and the family was living at Govan. There were four children and William was the youngest. He had two older sisters, Jessie and Maggie, and an older brother John. By the 1911 census the family was living at 34 Thornton Road, Stanwix, Carlisle and William’s father was described as a railway parcels agent. Brother John was now also a railway clerk and sister Margaret is described as a “clerkess”!
Carlisle Grammar School 1910-13. On the cricket team 1913.
William is recorded as having enlisted at Carlisle but it is unclear when. CWGC cites his death as occurring on September 11 1917. As William is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial, he was clearly involved in the 3rd Battle of Ypres (later known as Passchendaele). John Hartley, writing about the activities of the Manchester Battalion on the September 11 reported: “The History of 42nd Division has them attacking an enemy blockhouse.” And he included a quote from the divisional history. This is from Frederick Gibbon who wrote it in 1920 and, presumably, had access to the war diaries:
“Private T M Howard, 9th Manchester, volunteered to bring in an officer who lay wounded about 40 yards from the blockhouse, from which severe machine gun and rifle fire was maintained. Howard reached the officer and carried him 200 yards over exposed ground illuminated by enemy flares.”
John Hartley added: “The attack had obviously failed.”
William was aged 19 when he died.
The CGS Register records William as belonging to the London Regiment; however he was killed while serving with1st/9th Bn.,Manchester Regiment (51426), and the record on Findmypast says he was formerly of the Border Regiment (32674). The 1/9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment was in France from March 1917.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Census: 1911 RG 14/31339; 1901 Scotland RG 13/644
c) www.ancestry.co.uk and www.findmypast.co.uk
d) John Hartley via The Great War Forum