William Thomas Middlewick

Date of birth:                 1879Poppies
Place of birth:               Southampton
Date of marriage:        1899
Place of marriage:       Southampton
Rank:                                Second Engineer
Regiment / Division:  Mercantile Marine Reserve
Battalion/Ship:             H.M. Yacht “Zarefah”
Died:                                  8th May 1917 aged 36 years
Death Location:           At sea

Life before the War

William’s father, Thomas Edwards, was born in 1853 Plymouth, Devon. His mother, Flora Amelia nee Plomer, was born in 1860 Shepton Mallet, Somerset dying in Southampton on 28th December 1923. Flora left a Probate:

“Middlewick Flora Amelia of 98 Albert Road Southampton widow died 28 December 1923. Probate Winchester 5 February 1924 to Ellen Mary Dewey (wife of William Henry Dewey). Effects £147 4s 5d”

Thomas and Flora married in 1878. Of their six children, William was their eldest child. Their other children were:

Albert John b.1888 d.1948
Ellen Mary b.1890
Arthur Henry b.28th July 1895, d.1970
Norman Walter aka Walter b.22nd October 1897, d.1983
Harriet Rose b.1901

The 1881 and 1891 census returns shows Thomas, Flora and William living at 41, Chapel Road, Southampton. At this time, Thomas was a Seaman Ships Stoker though unemployed. On the night of the 5th April 1891, when the census was taken, Thomas was aboard the S.S. “Trent” as a Fireman, which was docked at Southampton Docks.

The family had moved to 48, Anderson Terrace, Albert Street, St. Mary’s Parish by 1901. Thomas was still employed as a Marine Fireman.

By 1911, Ellen had left home and was working as a Nurse Domestic for the Etheridge family at 33, Belmont Road, Southampton. Thomas, his wife and their 3 younger children had moved to 98, Albert Road, Southampton. Thomas was employed by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company as a Marine Stoker, Arthur was working for Hawkins and Son as an Apprentice Baker, Norman was at School but was also a member of the Gordon Boys.

William had married Sarah Anna B Bicknell in 1899 Southampton. They had children (those known up to 1911 census):

Elizabeth F A b.1899, married Tom Virgin in 1919
Minnie b.26th January 1903, married Albert T Patten in 1924
William Thomas b.1904 d.1938
Bessie May b.17th August 1907 married Albert F Lawrence in 1926 d.1994
Charles J b.14th November 1909 married Agnes Jeffrey in 1937 d.1993

In 1911, William with his wife and children, were living at 100, Albert Road, next door to his parents. William was employed with the White Star Company as a Seaman. Living with them was his father in law, John Bicknell, a widower.

His brothers also served in the war  and mentioned on the National Roll of the Great War.

“Middlewick, A. H., A/Sergt., Somerset Light Infantry. (Arthur Henry)

He joined in May 1916, and was drafted overseas in the same year. He saw active service in India, Egypt and Palestine, and whilst in the last named theatre of war took part in the Battle of Gaza, and taking Jerusalem, among other important engagements. He was demobilized in September 1919 and holds the General Service and Victory Medals.

98, Albert Road, Southampton”


“Middlewick, A.J., Seaman, R.N. (Albert John)

He volunteered in 1915, and after training was sent to H.M.S. “Aro” with which vessel he was engaged on important duties off Scotland. He rendered valuable services until June 1918, when he was discharged as medically unfit for further duty.

98, Albert Road, Southampton”

“Middlewick, N.W., Cpl., 1/4th Hampshire Regiment (Norman Walter)

He joined in May 1916, and was speedily drafted overseas. He saw much active service in India, Persia and Russia, and whilst in the two last named theatres of war, took part in several important engagements. He was demobilized in January 1920, and holds the General Service and Victory Medals.

98, Albert Road, Southampton”

William’s War service

William is Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth, Devon.


Plymouth Memorial

Plymouth Memorial

“Middlewick, 2nd Engr. William Thomas M.M.R. H.M. Yacht “Zarefah”. Killed by a mine explosion off Orkneys,
8th May, 1917. Age 36. Son of Thomas Edward and Flora A. Middlewick, of 98, Albert Rd., Southampton; husband
of Dorah Ann Middlewick, 100, Albert Rd., Chapel, Southampton. Reference 25”

National Roll of the Great War

“Middlewick, W.T., 2nd Engineer, R.N.

He volunteered in August 1914, and went to sea with H.M.S. “Sabina”. With this vessel he was engaged on important duties in the North Sea and at Scapa Flow, and rendered valuable services until May 8th, 1917. On this date he lost his life when his ship was mined, and was entitles to the 1914 – 15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.

100, Albert Road, Southampton”


Researched by Becky Lonergan November 2013.


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