1/6th Battalion., Northumberland Fusiliers.

Killed in action, age 18, on the 11th April 1918.

Son of Ann E and the late Thomas Pawsey, of 2, West Terrace, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks.

Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainault, Belgium

1901. William, aged 1, was living at 34 High St, Skelton, where he had been born.
His father, Thomas, age 36, was House Painter and had also been born in Skelton.
His mother, Ann Elizabeth, aged 33, was also Skelton born. By 1911 she had had 4 children and all were living.
William has 2 sisters Frances, age 7 and a sister, Emma age 9 living at home.

1911. The family are now living at 106 High St. William is at school. Frances is working as a Dressmaker and a new daughter has arrived, Grace, aged 6. William's Aunt Sarah Jane, age 39, is living with them.
By the time the CWGC were creating the cemeteries, William's father had died and his mother had moved to 2 West Terrace, Skelton.

The 1/6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers were attached to the 149th Brigade, 50th Division.
At the time of William's death they had been ordered from the Somme to the River Lys area.
In November 1917 the Germans had made a peace with the Russians and in the Spring of 1918, reinforced by Divisions moved from the Eastern front, they launched a series of offensives against what they thought were exhausted British lines.
If they could break through to the coast before the Americans arrived in numbers they could still win the War.
In March they had advanced some 40 miles on the Somme, almost reaching Amiens.
Just as that offensive weakened, they began another attack on the 9th April to the North, on the River Lys, West of Armentieres.
The Allies, mainly British, were driven back some 20+ miles and many men were killed and wounded before the advance was halted.
William Pawsey, at age 18, could not have been long in France and was killed on the second day of this action.
The Ploegsteert Memorial, which lies about 12 kilometres to the South East of Ypres, commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave.

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