William Henry Trinder
William was a Feniscowles lad born and bred but his Dad,
Albert, had moved to here from Whitchurch and his Mum, Judith was a Darrener.
He had two brothers, Albert and Thomas and two sisters Emily and Jane. He was
born on the 29th March 1898 and baptized by the Rev. Gallaher here in Immanuel
Church on the 24th April 1898. He first lived on Fernleigh and then moved into
Laurel Bank Terrace on Moulden Brow when his Dad got a job in the Sun Paper
As in those days you had to pay to go to school he didn’t
start at Feniscowles School until the 2nd of September 1907 when he was nine
years old. He only stayed at the school until he was 13 when he left to go into
domestic work, perhaps in the ‘Big Hall’. While he was at school, it was based
in the lower hall, and while he was there the upper hall was added to the
building. On a Sunday there would have been about 150 to 200 children at the
Sunday school but this number dropped to about forty during the week.
World War One broke out when he was sixteen years old and at
sometime later he went to Preston and signed up. Now you were supposed to be
eighteen before you could join the army and nineteen before you could go
overseas but it is well known that lots of underage boys joined up. Lots of the
service records from WW1 were destroyed in WW2 so we don’t know when he joined
up but we do know from his medal card that he served in two regiments, the
King’s Liverpool and the 9th Btn Royal Welsh.
It was with the Royal Welsh, based in Wrexham that he went
overseas to Belgium. How he joined them we have no idea but, as lots of
regiments went from two or three peace time battalions to thirty or forty war
time battalions, men were sent anywhere and everywhere they were needed.
Although they were based in Wrexham they did a lot of their
training at Tidworth Camp on Salisbury Plain. These was a permanent camp, but
as there was large numbers of men going through most of them were billeted in
tents and when the rain came it soon turned in a quagmire, perhaps a foretaste
of what was to come.
The 9th Battalion embarked at Southhampton and sailed to
France and landed at Boulogne during July 1915. From there they moved up to the
area of Le Croix Barbet which was just to the south of Ypres but in France. The
different battalions would rotate and have several days on the front line and
then maybe ten days in the rear where they would continue with training and
getting equipment sorted out.
Tthe 3rd battle of Ypres or what is more commonly know as
Passchendaele was found from July to November 1917 with lots of attacks and
counter attacks. This was fought on marshy, low lying ground that was turned
into a sea of mud and most of the iconic pictures of the trenches and mud came
from this area.
Below is an extract from the battalion diary from the 20th
Zero hour was at
5.40am. The battalion was in Brigade Reserve.
At 12.30 ‘B’ company reinforced the front line at Hessian Wood P.I.C.28
2.30pm ‘D’ coy. Reinforced front line on right of ‘B’ coy.
Btn. headquarters was established in IMPERFECT COPSE. I 36
with ‘C’ coy in reserve
These positions were held during the night.
The battalion remained in the same position all night when
the front line was readjusted and then handed over to the 56th Infantry
The total casualties for the 20th and 21st were
Officers wounded 2/lieut H R Davies, 2/lieut N A Buck and
Lieut J W Phillips
Other ranks Killed
21 (including 7 died from wounds)
If this all seems a bit callious you have to remember that
these death were on only one day and during the 3rd Battle for Ypres there was
a total of 857,100 dead or wounded.
William was one of the 21 killed on the 20th and his body
was never found. He is recorded on the Tyne Cot
Memorial near Ypres one of the 33,783 men from the British Forces in
this area, who’s bodies were never found. 1176 New Zealanders are also recorded
there. He is on Panel 93/94.