William Edward Ithell

Date of birth: 1887
Place of birth: Hackney, London
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Battalion: 9th Field Coy.
Rank / Service No: Sapper, 19803
Died: 29th January 1915, aged 28 years
Buried: Bailleul Communal Cemetery, France (H.2)


William was the second of 3 siblings born to Henry and Annie Ithell (nee Pearce), who married in Hackney in 1883.


Henry was born in Islington in 1862 and died in Shirley in 1919.

Annie was born in Hackney in 1864 and her year of death is unknown; she definitely passed away between 1889 and 1901.


After Annie’s early death, Henry married a German lady called Martha who had been born in 1852.

Martha was with William and his sister in Southampton at the 1901 Census. Interestingly, the 1911 Census states that Henry and Martha married in 1896.



Henry   b. 14 February 1884 Hackney   d. 1963 Chard   Married Beatrice F. Ousley in Chard in 1913.

William Edward 

Caroline Mary Anne   b. 9 March 1889 Tottenham   d. ??   Married Walter Harold Bond-Smith in Southampton in 1933.


William was not at home at the 1911 Census, being based with the Royal Engineers in Weymouth at the time.



The 9th Field Company R.E served with the 4th Division when war broke out. The Division was held back from the original B.E.F by a last minute decision to defend England against a possible German attack.


The fate of the B.E.F in France and the lack of any move to cross the channel by the enemy reversed this decision, and the division landed at Boulogne on 23 August 1914.


They were in action during the retreat from Mons, at the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne and at Messines during the rest of 1914.


In 1915, the division fought at the Second Battle of Ypres and it would have been during the intense fighting to the south-west of Ypres that William met his end.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd October 2016


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