William Percy Williamson

Date of birth:                    1888
Place of birth:                   Southampton
Date of marriage:            1913
Place of marriage:           Southampton
Rank:                                    Fireman
Regiment / Division:      Mercantile Marine
Ship:                                      S.S. South Western (Southampton)
Died:                                     16th March 1918 aged 29 years
Death Location:               At sea

Life before the War
William was born 1888 in Southampton.  His parents were William Boddy and Alice Mary, nee Plowman, who married 1887 in Southampton.  His father was born 1862 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk and his mother was born 1866 in the New Forest at Sway.  William Percy had a sister Elsie who was born 1910.

In the 1891 census the family were living at 224 Northumberland Road, St Mary’s, Southampton.  William was employed as a Baker. William (junior) was called Percy.

By 1901 they had moved to 20 Houndwell Gardens, St Mary’s, Southampton.  William senior was now a Stoker at Contractors.

They were still at the same address in 1911.  William senior was now working at the Oil Mills, William junior was a Ships Fireman.  They now have a daughter, Elsie, who is 9 months old.  Also living with them is Edith Plowman, shown as a sister, who is single, aged 43 and born in Sway.

William married Lillian E Pike at Southampton in 1913.  They had a daughter Lillian G born 1915 in Southampton.

War Service
William joined the Mercantile Marine and was a crew member aboard the S.S. “South Western” (Southampton). His Rank was Fireman.

He died on 16th March 1918 aged 29.

He is Remembered with Honour on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

Tower Hill Memorial Part 8
“Williamson, Frmn. William Percy. S.S. “South Western” (Southampton). Drowned, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine, 16th March 1918. Aged 29. Son of William and Alice Williamson; husband of Lillian Edith Williamson (nee Pike), of Houndwell Gardens, Southampton. Born at Southampton”.

Historical Information – S.S. South Western
S.S. South Western was built by J. & W. Dudgeon, London in 1874 and owned at the time of her loss by the London & South Western Railway Co., Southampton.  She was a British steamer of 674 tons.

On March 16th 1918 the South Western, on a voyage from Southampton to Saint Malo with general cargo and four passengers, was sunk by the German submarine UB-59 (Erwin Wassner), 9 miles WxS off St. Catherine’s Point.  There were 24 persons lost.

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