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William Lendrem (1891-1968)

Barnard Castle man served in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force

Born in Barnard Castle on 28 October 1891 William Lendrem was the second son of Robert and Mary Jane Lendrem. The couple’s first son Robert died at the age of two and William’s sister Jane was born shortly after his death. The family moved to Gateshead where Robert took work as a labourer on the Quayside. The family lived in the notorious Bridge Street. Jane had two more children, Wilfrid and Charlotte, who both died in infancy. William’s father Robert died shortly after in 1910. Following her husband’s death, Jane moved back to Barnard Castle with her surviving children.

William Lendrem enlisted on 12 May 1915 into the Worcestershire Yeomanry. His service records state his place of birth as Harrogate. While at the barracks in Worcester he met and married Amy Palmer. Four weeks later William embarked for the Middle East from Devonport on 1 February 1916.

William arrived in Alexandria two weeks later. Here he contracted diptheria and was hospitalized at the Canadian Hospital in Abbassia from 23 February 1916 until 4 March 1916. Discharged to the Rest Camp in Abbassia on 21 March he rejoined his unit in Sidi Bishr, Sudan the following month on 20 April. He was stationed here until his unit moved to Ballah on 11 May of the same year. A Durham lad, unused to the climate, he was admitted on 23 March 1917 to the hospital in Ballah, Sudan with sunstroke before being transferred to the base hospital in Giza on 3 April. Having rejoined his unit on 23 April 1917, his pay was increased to Class II on 12 May and then Class I on 1 July. On 5 December 1917 he was admitted to the hospital base in Kantara, Cyprus with an infected arm. He rejoined his unit later the same month on 19 December in Jerusalem. We don’t hear of him again until 31 May 1918 when he struck a superior officer and appeared before a Court Martial in Jerusalem. For this offence William received a two-year sentence. This was commuted to one year providing he continued in active service, and a further year on condition that he left the Yeomanry and joined the Royal Engineers. This he did. But not before contracting malaria and being admitted to the base hospital in Alexandria.

William ended his war years as a lorry driver with the Royal Engineers during the rebuilding of the railway in Palestine. Upon returning to England, he obtained a job working on the railway and moved, with his wife Amy, to West Hartlepool. He became a railway guard with the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). During the Second War he volunteered as an ARP warden and organized first aid training for all LNER guards. When the LNER became part of British Rail, he ended his working life as a porter in the British Rail Grand Hotel in West Hartlepool.

William and Amy lived for many years in Ashley Gardens in West Hartlepool and had two children and five grandchildren. Sadly, shortly after his retirement, his wife Amy had a heart attack and died on 25 January 1956. William died on 21 December 1968. He is remembered in his family as a quiet man with a love of trains and his allotment.

Civil Parish: Barnard Castle

Birth date: 28-Oct-1891

Death date: 21-Dec-1968

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 15 Bridge Street, Gateshead (1901 Census)
36 Southfield Street, Worcester (Service Records)
22 Ashley Gardens, West Hartlepool (1939 Register)

Employment: Shunter, Railway Centre – North Eastern Railway (Service Records)

Family: Parents: Robert Lendrem, Mary Jane Lendrem
Siblings: Robert Lendrem (1890-1892), Jane Lendrem (b 1893), Wilfred Lendrem (1899-1900), Charlotte Lendrem (1903-1903)
Spouse: Amy Agnes Lendrem nee Palmer
Children: Irene Gwendolene Lendrem, Dennis Lendrem

Military service:

Worcestershire Yeomanry
Service Numbers 3141, 325681
Royal Engineers
Service Number 499866

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Lendrem, Rothbury, Northumberland

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