William Edmonds

Date of birth: 1892
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: SS Laertes
Rank / Service No: Fireman
Died: 1st August 1917, aged 26 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


William was the second of 6 siblings born to William and Alice Edmonds (nee Etheridge), who were married in Southampton in 1893.

This means that both William and his older sister were born out of wedlock.

The family lived at 18 Mount Street, off Orchard Lane, in St. Mary’s.


William Snr. was born in Southampton in 1871 and died in the city in 1914.

Alice was born in the city in 1872 and she passed away in 1953.



Emily E.   b. 1888 Southampton   d. 1967 Southampton   Married James Stanton in Southampton in 1905.


Harry   b. 1895 Southampton   d. 1958 or 1973 Southampton   Married Alice Haynes in Southampton in 1919.

Benjamin JOHN   b. 1897 Southampton   d. 1978 Southampton   Married Lilian F. Peckham in Southampton in 1920.

Alice Louisa   b. 1900 Southampton   d. 1977 Southampton   Married John M. Colman in Southampton in 1924.

Charles   b. 1907 Southampton   d. 1963 Southampton   Married Alice M. Crocker in Southampton in 1932.


SS Laertes was a cargo ship built in Newcastle in 1904. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy at the outbreak of war, to be used as a merchant vessel.

Laertes had managed to survive a U-boat torpedo and gun attack on 10 February 1915, off the Dutch coast.


On 1 August 1917, she was en route from Southampton in Montreal “in ballast” (no specific cargo).

Whilst off Prawle Point, Devon, she was torpedoed and sunk by UB-31.


14 crew lost their lives, including William.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 14th July 2016


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