William Woolmore

Sergeant Major
Royal Field Artillery
Date of death 
29 November 1914
Age of death 
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1875 at Walthamstow, the son of William and Rebecca Woolmore. In 1881 he is listed as living with his family at Chingford Lane aged 4. 1891: A Gardener aged 15 with his family at 19 Chingford Lane, Woodford Green (Walthamstow). By 1901 he had joined the Army. 1911 saw him at Robert Heights, Transvaal, South Africa, a Battery Serjeant Major with 98 Battery, 20 Brigade RFA. Later transferring to 104 Battery of 22 Brigade, he gained a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1912. He married Margaret from Clonmel in Ireland, and they had 5 children.

22 Brigade returned to UK after the declaration of war, and was attached to 7 Division which moved to Zeebrugge in October 1914. They arrived too late to defend Antwerp, but helped keep routes open for the evacuating Belgian army. They then moved to Ypres where the Division was the first British troops to entrench in front of Ypres.

They participated in the First Battle of Ypres, halting the German advance. The Battery was shelling woods near Klein Zillebeke and towards Hollebeke on 7th November, and attacking infantry and opposing gun batteries between Zillebeke and Zanducorde on 11th November.

13th November 1914 was very wet, and British infantry lines were heavily attacked by the Germans during the afternoon. Reinforcements were called up and the attack was repulsed. The artillery were relieved by 25 Brigade between 15.00 and 18.00 and 104 Battery withdrew to Ouderdam for the night. The final War Diary entry for the day states that Lt Simpter (or Simpler) and BSM Woolmore had been wounded.

William Woolmore Died of Wounds in a base hospital at Boulogne.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian