William was born on 10th June 1883 at Grovehill, Beverley, the 8th of Sarah Janeís and Henry Parkís children.† He was 4 when his dad died.† Shortly afterwards his older brothers were sent away to the Hull Seamanís and General Orphanage on Spring Bank in Hull.† His mum died 3 weeks before his 14th birthday.† Thatís a lot of tragedy for one so young.† Who looked after William after Sarah Jane died?† By 1901 he was working on Harrisonís farm (Fairfield Farm) at Howsham near Malton.† I donít know how long he stayed in Howsham but he married Edith Adeline Corner in Hull on 17th August 1909 at the age of 26, as far as I am aware they had no children.†
William Gillyon 10.06.1883 - 29.09.1915
Enlisted †††††††††††††††††††† 10th May 1915
Disembarked in France † 7th July 1915
Killed in action††††††††††† 29th September 1915, Battle of Loos
Home address †††††††††††† 6 Kingston Place, Richards Buildings, Sykes St, Hull
He is described as a labourer and had previously served for 6 years in the armed forces, but I canít read where.† Please let me know if you can make it out.
Regimental number†††††† 17995
2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment
William was posthumously awarded three medals:
The battle started 25th September 1915, it was notable for the following:
William died on 29th September.† What action was he involved in on that day?† So far I have the following information:
† 27/09/1915† The 28th Division relieved the 9th Division
† 28/09/1915† 28th Division attempt to recover The Dump and Fosse 8
I have copies of the war diary for the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment for 25th - 29th September 1915.† It doesnít give enough detail to say exactly how he died, after all he was only a private.† It does mention the following.† On 28th Sept the Battalion came under the order of 22nd Brigade, B & C Companies moved into trenches west of Quarry Trench close to The Dump and Fosse 8 which they were trying to recapture.† On the 29th September (the day William died) the enemy started a bombing attack at about 7am down nearby St Elie trench and C Company from the Battalion went to support the allies under attack there.† During this about 90 men of C Company became casualties including Captain ES Wilson and 2nd Lt Frere.† This is the most significant action recorded in the diary for the 29th, so William may have been in C Company supporting the 1st South Staffordshires of 22nd Brigade, 7th Division.† I may find out more if I look into the Sth Staffs.
His body is one of 20,000 with no known grave which usually means that they recovered nothing recognisable to bury, so it is unlikely he was injured a day or two earlier and died of his wounds in the field hospital.† The other possibility is that due to the high number of casualties over such a short period they were unable to bury the bodies in individual graves.† He is commemorated at the Loos Memorial in Dud Corner Cemetery near the village of Loos in France (panel 40 & 41).†
I received the following from a fellow Gillyon researcher:
ďPrivate William Gillyon's military registration papers are one of just three Gillyon records which survives as part of the "burnt record" series, at the National Archives, Kew Gardens in London. Obviously his widow, Edith had written a scathing letter to the Home office at some point, perhaps after she had been notified that William had been killed, because a copy of the Home Office's fascinating response is kept with William's records. Here is a transcription of that letter:
Letter 12 Nov 1915†††††††††††††††††††† From War Office, London, SW
Sir, I am directed to inform you that in view of the immoral conduct of the widow of No. 17995 Private William Gillyon, East Yorkshire Regiment, she is not eligible for pension from Army funds.† Mrs. Gillyon and the Regimental Paymaster should be informed accordingly. The marriage certificate received with her application for pension is returned herewith.
†††††††† I am,
†††††††† your obedient servant
His army registration papers note 2 different addresses at the time when William signed up. He was living at 6 Kingston Place, B<unreadable> Buildings, Syke Street, Hull, but his wife was living at 6 Gordon Avenue, Eastbourne Street, Hull. Perhaps they had separated before he joined the Army and maybe this is why his widow Edith had sent the marriage certificate to the Army, to prove that they were in fact married.Ē
Williamís widow Edith married Frank Thompson in 1919.
Visit to the Loos Memorial 21st October 2007
Back to Albert Gillyonís siblings
More on Albertís brother Henry