WILLIAMS, Guy Grenfell

Second Lieutenant, 9th Bn., attd., 7th Bn., Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

Born

July 1896.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Williams of Claremont, Redruth, Cornwall. 

Education

Blundell’s School, “School House” from the age of 14; September 1910 - July 1914.
During this time he was a member of the school OTC, he was made up to Corporal in 1913, played in the band, and attended camp in 1910, 11, 12 and 13.

Service

At the outbreak of war he left school to obtain a commission and whilst waiting for this, assisted in training Kitchener’s recruits at Redruth.  He was gazetted to the DCLI in November 1914 as Second Lieutenant.  In May 1915 he sailed for Gallipoli, being attached to the Enniskillen Fusiliers.  He arrived at Imbros ill and was sent to Malta and thence invalided home.  He rejoined his battalion in September 1915 and in April 1916 was sent to France.

The Offensive

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.

There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

Death

6th June 1916, aged 20.
He was killed by shell fire. His commanding officer wrote “Though he was only here a short time, he was much liked by officers and his men and will be a great loss”.

Burial/Commemoration

II. E. 4, Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.

Memorial

The Cemetery is situated 6.5km west of Ypres on the Brandernstaat towards Poperinge. During the conflict the town of Brandhoek was comparatively safe from shell fire and so field ambulances were stationed there in a field opposite a dressing station. The cemetery was opened in early May 1915 and closed in July 1917.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Records Office, National Archives, Kew: Medal Rolls: WO372/20
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5434
“The Blundellian”, 1916 June p 233
Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 5/77

 

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