Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Entwistle, William - Private (23739)

Pte William Entwistle
2nd Battalion,
East Lancashire Regiment,
Killed in Action,
21st June 1917,
Age 37.
Buried Ruyaul Court Military Cemetery

William Entwistle was born in Haslingden in 1879. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Entwistle of Acre, Haslingden. In 1901 William was living at 431, Blackburn Road, Rising Bridge with his widowed mother and sisters Eunice and Lizzie. (His father had died in May 1888 and was buried in Stonefold Churchyard.) He was employed as a greengrocer. On 8 May 1915, William married Annie Holden Heys at Salem Chapel. He enlisted in May 1916 in the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment and went to France the following September. He was later attached to the Royal Engineers.
His younger sister, Eunice, married Thomas Worsley, who is also commemorated on Stonefold War Memorial.  William was killed in action on June 21st 1917.  He was 37 years of age and left a widow, Annie, mother, 2 sisters, Eunice & Lizzie and a brother, John, (serving in France).
A memorial service was held at Salem U. M. Chapel, Haslingden on 24 July 1917 for William Entwistle, where he had been a regular attender for several years. The well attended service was conducted by the Reverend A. J. Keeley. The hymns were “There’s a land of pure delight”, Lead kindly light”, Abide with me”, “A few more years shall roll”, and “It is not death to die”. Mr L. L. Renshaw played the “Dead March” at the close of the service. Mr Keeley’s text was “Thanks be to God, who giveth us victory though our Lord, Jesus Christ”. (1 Cor. XV, 57).  William Entwistle is buried in Ruyoulcourt Military Cemetery, France. 

"Although Pte. Entwistle's battalion is named as the 2nd Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment, he was probably serving with either the lst/4th or the lst/5th Battalion of the Regiment at the time of his death.
In March 1917 the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division, of which the lst/4th and lst/5th Battalions were a part, arrived in France after service in Gallipoli and Egypt. (It is possible Pte. Entwistle was one of a number of reinforcements after their arrival). On 23 May the Division moved to a sector running from the Canal du Nord southwest of Havrincourt to a point south of Villers Plouich, east of Peronne, and remained there until 8 July 1917.
Both Battalion's tours in the trenches were relatively quiet except for sniping and night raids by both sides. Shelling by both sides continued as a matter of course. This caused several casualties. Short tours in the trenches alternated with much fatigue work behind the lines.

On 1 June the order was received to advance the Divisional front by 300 yards, the operation to be completed by 10 June. In preparation for the advance, large parties of both Battalions were employed, under the supervision of the 427th Field Company, Royal Engineers, to dig cable trenches and twelve outposts linked up by a continuous trench on a front of 1,500 yards. The new line was completed on schedule. There were casualties, however, when after several days "strafing" by machine guns and trench mortars, the Germans sent over a cloud of mixed lachrymatory and phosgene gas. During this period nine men from the lst/4th Battalion and six from the lst/5th Battalion, plus Pte. Entwistle, died and were buried in Ruyaulcourt Military Cemetery". From - Bill Turner’s Book. 

Newspaper Memorial:

In loving memory of our dear Son and Brother, Private William Entwistle, killed in France, June 21st, 1917.

"Always remembered by his Mother and Sisters."

Pte William Entwistle - Census Information - (Click over to enlarge)