William Fulford

Date of birth: October 1888
Place of birth: Lyndhurst
Service No.: 7527
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2nd
Died: 20th October 1916 aged 28 years
Death location: Battle of Transloy, Somme, France


Life before the War
William was the fifth of 6 children born to the late James and Jane Sarah Dyer, formerly Fulford (nee Hams).  Both James and Jane were born in Eling, Totton, James in 1857 and Jane in 1859.  They married in Southampton in 1881.

All the children were born in Southampton.  The family were living at 33 Kent Road, Portswood in the 1890’s before moving to 262 Priory Road, Portswood.

James died in 1902 and Jane remarried in 1911 to a retired Master Mariner called John Dyer.  They lived at 22 Stanley Road, Portswood (with Jane’s youngest son Hugh) but, unfortunately, John died the very same year they married whilst Jane died in Southampton in 1949.

William’s 5 siblings were:

Jane Sarah   b.1881 but date of death not known.  Married Alfred Frederick Stanbrook in Southampton in 1901.  They lived with Jane’s parents in the early 1900’s before disappearing off the radar.

James    b.1882 and d.1938 London.   Married Lilian Ellen Hale in Southampton in 1903.  At the 1911 Census they were living at 26 Ivy Road, Portswood, with 5 children.

Thomas    b.1883 and d.1953 Bideford, Devon.  Married Ada Jane McQuirk, nee Harris, in Southampton in 1924.

Louisa Kate    b. 1884 and d.1917 Southampton.  Married David Spredbury in Southampton in 1904.  The two of them, plus 3 children, were all living with David’s mother in Portswood at the 1911 Census.

Hugh   b.1895 and d.1914 Southampton.

Service History
There is evidence to suggest that William was keen to join the armed forces from an early age.  He attested into the 3rd Hampshires in 1905, when he was listed as a Greengrocer, and was living in Portsmouth.

At the 1911 Census, William was a member of the 2nd Hampshires and was aboard a vessel near the Cape Of Good Hope, S. Africa, probably bound for India.  Having finished the tour in India at the end of 1914 the Battalion spent 1915 in Gallipoli before leaving Alexandria for England in early 1916.

The Battalion entered France through Marseilles in March 1916 and fought in the battles of Albert and the Transloy Ridges on the Western Front.

Thiepval Memorial

Thiepval Memorial

William lost his life in this latter battle, fought between September and October 1916.  Persistent rain through October made warfare difficult; very little ground was gained by either side, although casualties were high.  This First Battle of the Somme finally ground to a halt for winter in November 1916.

William’s name appears on Pier and Face 7B / 7C of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme battlefields.

The Thiepval Memorial bears the names of 72,194 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces.  These men died in the Somme battle sector before 20thMarch 1918 and have no known grave.  Over 90 percent of those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial died in the 1916 Battles of the Somme between July and November 1916.  It is fitting that this memorial was designed by
Sir Edwin Lutyens who also designed the Southampton Cenotaph which also bears William’s name.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published.: 14th January 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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