Private William Bosworth 10/2866

Soldier Factfile

Name:  Private William Bosworth 10/2866

Date of Birth:  25th March 1884

Address:  Main Street, Pahiatua, North Island , New Zealand

Parents Names:  

John Thomas Bosworth died 1896

Elizabeth Bosworth died 1885

Step mother (m1888) Sarah Ann Dickens.

Occupation before the war:  Self-employed bootmaker

Siblings Names:  

Half siblings:

James Percival b 1890  |  Effie Emma b 1891  |  Lawrence Victor b 1893  |

Archibald Henry b 1894  |  Herbert Ernest b 1896

Date Died:   27.9.1916

Age:  32

Place of Death:   The Somme, France

Place of Burial/Memorial:  

Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand)

Memorial, Somme, France

Cause of death:   Killed in Action


1st Battalion

Wellington Regiment

Section: Nzef


1914 – 15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Any other information (e.g. Service Record/ appearance etc)

  • William had a very sad early life:
  • His mother died in 1885 aged 23. William’s widowed father married Sarah Ann Dickens in 1888.
  • Then William’s father died aged 34.
  • In March 1901 William was employed as a shoe riveter and was living at Park Road, Anstey, Leics with his paternal grandparents James Bosworth a shoe riveter and Ann, along with his aunts and uncles, William, Ernest, and Sarah A William’s widowed step mother was living at Cropston Road, Anstey, with his two half siblings, Archibald Harry and Herbert Ernest, born 1896, both his half siblings were born in Highfield Street, Anstey.
  • In April 1911 William was still a shoe riveter, living with his paternal grandparents, now in Latimer Street, Anstey. His step mother was living in the family home at The Nook, Anstey, Leics., together with his half siblings, Laurence Victor, a shoe trade worker, born 1893 in Anstey, Leics., Archibald, a clerk and Herbert, a shoe trade worker, also residing with the family was his step mothers, widowed mother Sarah Dickens.
  • William enlisted, in New Zealand, ion the 14th June 1915 and gave his next of kin as Ernest Bosworth (his uncle) of Leicester Road, Anstey.
  • . Prior to joining up William Bosworth was a member of the Pahiatua Rifle Club.
  • He was 5 feet 8½ inches tall, 150 lb in weight, of dark complexion with brown eyes and hair.
  • His religious profession was Primitive Methodist.
  • William Bosworth underwent his medical on 24 May 1915 and apart from a ‘scar in left groin’ he was described as normal and fit b y C Captain H Paterson Medical Officer. The condition of his teeth was described as “plate above rest good.”
  • He joined the 1st Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company, 7th Reinforcements with regimental number 10/2866 with the rank of private. He was inoculated against typhoid on 5 and 12 September 1915.
  • He left New Zealand with the 7th Reinforcements on 9 October 1915 and he disembarked at Suez on 18 November 1915. While the file doesn’t record which specific transport the disembarkation date would place him on board the ‘Warrimoo’ – HMNZT No 34. This transport actually arrived at Suez on 20 November 1915, the closest date to the arrival of all the transports carrying the 7th Reinforcements to Egypt. (The other 7th Reinforcement transports were: “Navua” – HMNZT No 33 – arrived Suez on 25 November 1915 and the “Aparima – HMNZT No 32 – arrived Suez on 30 November 1915.)
  • William Bosworth joined his Battalion at Moascar, Ismailia on 9 January 1916 and embarked for France on 6 April 1916. Her would have left from Alexandria, arrived in Marseilles and entrained for the British sector in the North of France.
  • On 10 July 1916 he transferred to the Lewis Gun Section (in the field) and on 27 September 1916 he was killed in action. He was 32 years old.
  • William was killed in an attack made by the 1st Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment that took place at 4 am on 27 September 1916 from Goose Alley to tidy up an area between Abbaye Road and Flers Support. William was one of two officers and 96 other ranks that were killed in this operation. The Wellington Regiment NZEF 1914 – 1919 by W H Cunningham, C A L Treadwell and J S Hanna pages 122 ff describes this operation. Interestingly a tank was to have been used in this operation but it didn’t arrive in time to participate! The New Zealand Division had been engaged continuously from 15 September to 3 October in the now famous battle of the Somme. Sadly William Bosworth like a great many others didn’t survive it.