William George Prince

Date of birth: 1889
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 22725
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Died: 23 October 1916 aged 28 years
Death location: The Somme, France


Life before the War
William was the third of 10 siblings born to Eli and Emily, nee Williams.  Both Eli and Emily were born in Crewkerne in Somerset. They married in Winchester in 1882.  Eli was a Merchant Seaman, he was born in 1859 and died in 1916, just prior to William.  Emily was born in 1864 and died in Southampton in 1942.

At the 1901 census the family lived at 18 Nelson Street, St. Mary’s.  By 1911 they had moved to 76 Melbourne Street in St. Mary’s.

One of Eli and Emily’s children died very young, William’s surviving 8 siblings were:

Rose Maud    b.1884 Southampton and d.1963 “New Forest”

John Thomas    b.1886 Southampton and d.1935 Southampton.

Harry James Cyril    b.21.4.1891 Southampton and d.1962 Southampton.
Married Ethel M Bishop in Winchester in 1919.

Charles Edward    b.1894 Southampton and d.1968 Southampton.

Gertrude Sybilla    b.1896 Southampton and d.1966 Southampton.
Married Walter J. Carter in Southampton in 1920.

Elsie Dorothy    b.1901 Southampton and d.1972 Southampton.
Married George H. Sennett in Southamptom in 1931.

Leonard Eli    b.1906 Southampton and d.1969 Southampton.
Married Thelma P. Talbot in Southampton in 1936.

Nora Emily    b.1908 Southampton and d.1967 Southampton.
Married Francis R. H. Sujer in Southampton in 1934.

Service History
The 1st Battalion Hampshires landed in France during August 1914 as part of 11th Brigade of the 4th Division.  The Division was heavily involved in the major battles for Thiepval, part of the Battle of the Somme, in 1916.  Thiepval was finally captured at the end of September, although actions continued north and east through October and November.

The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November 1916, with the onset of winter.  The whole regiment lost 7,580 men, William being one of them.  Interestingly, William died on the same day as another member of his regiment from Southampton, Alfred Dibben.

Many of those killed during the Battle of the Somme are commemorated on the various monuments around Northern France.  William’s name appears on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier & Face 7B / 7C.  This memorial holds the names of over 72,000 men from the UK and South Africa who have no known grave.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 16th April 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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