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War Memorials

In Memory of
Lance Corporal 13883
9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment
Who died on Monday, 9th August 1915
Age 20

No Known Grave
Panel 151
Helles "Memorial to the Missing", Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Remembered with Honour
Helles Memorial

Helles "Memorial to the Missing", Gallipoli1

William Humphreys William Daniel Humphreys was born on 20th June 1895. He was the only son of James & Charlotte (née Haddon) Humphreys of 4 Humber Road South, Beeston, Notts2. As a boy he attended the Nether Street School and, on August 14th 1909, at the age of fourteen, he joined the Boys Brigade, the same day as George Coxon of King Street - numbered 62 & 63 in the Boys Brigade Register. His address at the time was given as 37, Humber Road. He and his older only sister, Alice Mabel, were members of the Valley Mission Sunday School. He took part in many if not all the activities the Boys Brigade had to offer, reaching the rank of Sergeant, and was an original member of the newly formed band under Band Master J, Hartley, taking part when they won the Bugle Cup in 1912 (click for picture).

Sergeant Humphreys was also a good footballer playing for the first team until he left to join the "Old Boys".

William found employment at Ericssonís Telephones where he worked until he left to join the forces. His job at the factory was classed as "Star Work", but he still left with his mates when they marched with Captain Stephen Hetley Pearson to join the forces in late August 1914.

His record until he landed in Gallipoli is described in the 9th Battalion History:

On August 1st Dann Humphreys wrote,

"I am still in fine fettle, I thought of Cromer today, when I went for a bath in the sea. "The last BB Camp was in Cromer it will be remembered." It was fine after being ten days in the trenches. Please send next parcel stronger than cardboard as they get bashed about so much. A Spencer had ten packets of cigarettes sent from the Greyhound but only five reached him. I have been among the Singalese this afternoon in one of their dugouts, and we were comparing words for simple objects, but it proved to much for me. They start at the end of one word, and it is all like a jigsaw puzzle when they have finished with it. There are none of the female sex here - not a solitary one, and although I was in the firing line for three days and three nights I did not see more than three Turks, except dead ones, and they donít count. We have French Singalese (Blacks), Gurks and Australians here."

His last letters contain interesting references to other Beeston Lads. It is reported (unofficially) that Joseph Pass, brother of Morris had been killed but the news had not been confirmed. A third brother George Pass well known in the district as a professional footballer, having played for Stapleford Rangers and Sutton Junction. He is also in the forces but has not yet proceeded to the front.3

1The photograph of the Helles "Memorial to the Missing"is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)
2At the time of the 1901 census, the family was living at 37 Humber Road, Beeston, James (b. c1871, Nottingham) was then working as a brewery labourer and his wife Charlotte (b. c1871 Burton-upon-Trent) was working at home as a lace mender (Piece 3153 Folio 166)
3One of these letters was from September 11th 1915 Edition of the Beeston Gazette & Echo.

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