William Levi Kneller

Date of birth: 1884
Place of birth: Bitterne, Southampton
Regiment: South Staffordshire
Battalion: 4th
Rank / Service No: Private, 46506
Died: 29th October 1918, aged 34 years
Buried: Glageon Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Plot II, Row A, Grave 7)


William was the second of 4 siblings born to George Frederick and Jessie Kneller (nee McDowell), who married in Southampton in 1882.


George was born in Northam in 1856 and he died in Southampton in 1926.

Jessie was born in Emery Down in 1864 and it is not known when she passed away.



Jessie Louisa   b. 1883 Bitterne   d. ??

William Levi 

Alice Rebecca   b. 1886 Bitterne   d. 1957 Surrey   Married George W. Hodge in Portsmouth in 1926.

Mabel Annie   b. 1888 Bitterne   d. 1957 Southampton


William was in some kind of institution in Tower Hamlets at the 1901 Census.


He married Caroline Maria Patterson in Bitterne in 1908. the couple had 2 daughters….


Violet Maria   b. 18 July 1911 Bitterne   d. 1992 Southampton   Married Anthony Philip Saint in Southampton in 1928 (married for 64 years).

Alice Maud   b. 1913 Bitterne   d. ??   Married Leonard G. Lewis in Stepney in 1932.


Caroline had been born in Portsmouth in 1883; she passed away in Southampton in 1928.



The 4th South Staffs were in the 7th Brigade in the 25th Division when the regiment landed in France in late September 1915.


The battalion took a major part in the Battle of Albert in July 1916 and in the Battle of Messines in June 1917.


The Division helped capture Westhoek in August 1917 and lost two-thirds of its fighting strength at the Battle of the Lys in April 1918.


The 4th South Staffs suffered particularly heavy casualties and left the Division in June 1918.

It’s remnants, including William, helped form the Number 1 Battalion in the Composite Brigade, which came under the orders of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division.


William almost certainly died of wounds received during the Battle of the Selle (17-25 October 1918), part of the Final Advance in Picardy.


Glageon village was in German hands for practically the whole of the war. The communal cemetery was used for the burial of German soldiers and Allied prisoners from September 1914 until August 1918.


The extension was then begun and used until October 1919.


The German, American, Italian and French graves have now been removed from both burial grounds, only the British and Russian remain.


There are now a little over 300 WW1 casualties on site, with 2 of William’s battalion comrades buried here.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th October 2016


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