PRIVATE 12559 BATTALION OXFORD & BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED ON 30TH JULY 1916 AGED 30YRS
REMEMBERED WITH HONOUR CANADIAN CEMETERY NO 2 NEUVILLE-ST VAAST,FRANCE.
GRAVE REF 8H.3
William Why was born on 1st Sept 1886 in Flackwell Heath son of John & Anne. In 1891 the family were living at Heath End . His father was a labourer and his mother was a rag sorter at a Mill. William is 4yrs old and his sister Annie is aged 3yrs.
In 1901 the Census shows William with his siblings, Fred, aged 12yrs, Ernest aged 10yrs , Arthur aged 8yrs and Bernard aged 1 yr.
The 1911 Census shows us that the parents had 9 children and 7 were alive at this time.
William is now aged 23yrs and a general labourer. His siblings listed are Frederick, Ernest, Arthur, Bernard and George. Three of his brothers were mill hands.
William enlisted at Oxford. He saw action with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry in France and died during the Battle of Delville Wood. From 14th July 1916 until 3rd September 1916 this was an engagement in the Battle of the Somme. It was a large offensive under orders from General Douglas Haig who was the Commander of the British Expeditionary Force. It was intended to secure the British right flank while the centre advanced to capture higher areas. Unfortunately there were huge casualties on both sides. This was the first major engagement for the South Africans. They suffered 80% losses.
William died only three days after being sent to the front.
Williamís surname is spelt as WYE on the Medal Index Card and also on SDGW records.
This was an error as the correct spelling appears on the Censuses. Also spelt as William H Why on the memorial but his middle name is John.