Brothers in War

William Thomas WW1c

Title: William Thomas WW1c
Description: by-nc

William Thomas Woolford was born in November 1868 in Croydon, and was the son of William and Ann Jane Woolford (née Walters). William married Ellen Hicks in August 1901 at Edmonton. On the 1901 Census William and his brother Albert were living in Wimbledon and both were working as painters. On the 1911 Census William was living in Reigate with his wife and four children.

He was obviously very close to his brother Albert, and they both enlisted at Guildford in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. His younger brother John had also served in the Queen’s in 1899 for a short period. On enlistment in March 1915, William gave his age as 38, but he was actually 47 and wasn’t eligible. He was then living at 13 Brooks Cottages, Redhill, Surrey and already had five children – Edith Ellen, William Thomas, Albert Edward, Alice Mary and Clara Bessie. They were obviously proud of their father as in one photograph they are all wearing the regimental badge. William was a Private in the British Expeditionary Force and got the 1914/1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

William spent some time in hospital and was then transferred to the Labour Corps, and was discharged in March 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service. His brother Albert was killed in action in June 1917 in Belgium, and has no known grave and is listed on the Menin Gate and the South Street, Dorking, War Memorial. William died in 1950 at Redhill.

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