William Samuel Harland

Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Bournemouth
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Battalion: 2nd London Sanitary Coy.
Rank / Service No: Private, 545502
Died: 28th January 1919, aged 23 years
Buried: Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery (B.5.202)


William was the oldest of 3 siblings born to William Samuel and Bessie Agnes Harland (nee Penny), who married in Bournemouth in 1893.

Bessie had evidently been in a relationship before marrying William, because she had a son by an unknown father….


William Alfred Penny   b. 1885 Wiltshire   d. 1959 Wells


Bessie had been born in Alderbury in 1867; William Samuel was born in Brighton in 1870.


The family were living in Exeter at the 1901 Census, but had moved to Brighton by the 1911 Census.


Both parents and William were resident in a “boarding house” in Hove, where William Snr is an odd-job man, Bessie is a cook and William Jnr is a page-boy.



William Samuel 

Bessie Lilian   b. 1899 Exeter   d. 1980 Chesterfield   Married George Baden Plater in Chesterfield in 1935.

Arthur Caleb   b. 1905 Exeter   d. 1980 Wokingham   Married Doris I. Grover in Reading in 1929.


William married Ethel Penny (born 1896 Wilton) in Southampton in 1917, and they lived at 210 Market Street, Eastleigh.

It is too coincidental that both William Samuels married Penny’s…….both ladies must have been related.


Sanitary companies were responsible for maintaining a clean water supply, clean cooking facilities and providing de-lousing stations.


William’s battalion had been based in Mesopotamia from late 1915, but had moved to Macedonia in the autumn of 1917.

They were there in early 1919 and it is likely that William developed an illness whilst there.


The Royal Army Medical Corps lost 6,873 men in WW1.




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th September 2016


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