Private William Monger. 1897- 1916.

A look back at those who laid down their lives during the First World War

A look back at those who laid down their lives during the First World War

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

Every week, The Gazette will put the spotlight on a borough resident who lost their life during the First World War. Today, we look back on the life of Private William Monger- 1897- 1916.

With thanks to Tadley and District Historical Society, who compiled this research.

A HEATH End teenager is just one of the thousands from the borough who laid down their lives for the country during the First World War.

William James Monger was only 16 years old when he enlisted in Basingstoke at the outbreak of the war in August 1914.

Tragically, he died two years later, suffering fatal injuries during the Battle of the Somme, just days shy of his 19 th birthday.

He was born on October 23,1897 at Heath End, Tadley, the fourth of ten children and the eldest son.

The family lived at Ivy Cottage in the lane known variously as Rampton’s, Back or Old Lane, off Bishopswood Lane.

The house still exists and is now known as ‘The Acorns’.

William served with the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 29th Division.

When war broke out in August 1914 the Hampshire Regiment were in Mhow, India. They returned to England, arriving at Plymouth in December 1914.

They moved to Romsey and in February 1915 to Stratford-upon-Avon where they came under orders of the 88th Brigade and the 29th Division then moved to Warwick.

They sailed from Avonmouth on 16 March 1915 for Gallipoli, landing at Cape Helles on 25 April 1915.

After nine months, on 2 January 1916, they were withdrawn to Egypt, from where they sailed on 29 March to Marseilles and proceeded to the Western Front.

On Wednesday, October 18 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the 12th Division, together with the 29th Division, assaulted Grease Trench.

William is recorded as dying of his wounds the following day, on 19 October 1916. He was 18 years old.

He is buried at Longueval Road Cemetery, Longueval near Albert, France and he is remembered on both the Tadley and Baughurst war memorials.

His military medal was announced on September 21, 1916.

The letter accompanying the medal states that it was awarded for Gallant Conduct on 2 July 1916 at the Battle of Albert (Ypres). The location of the cemetery and this date indicate that the action happened at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, east of the town of Albert and between the villages of La Boisselle and Fricourt.

The Military Medal was awarded servicemen for individual or associated acts of bravery.

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