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William Henry Wake (1895-)

Private in the 18th DLI who served in Egypt and France, injured at the Battle of the Somme

William Henry Wake was the middle child of William and Margaret Wake. Born in 1895 in Newcastle, William was listed on the 1911 census as working as a law clerk, while his older brother Thomas was a science student. He enlisted on 29 September 1914 and was posted to the 18th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). On enlistment he became Private 32259 and spent just over a year posted at home before being transferred to Egypt on 6 December 1915.

Private Wake was to remain in Egypt for four months until he was transferred to France on 5 March 1916. He was not to be in France long. On 1 July 1916, William was injured on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was taken to the No. 19 Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred back to England four days later. William remained in England until April the following year when he returned to France.

He remained with the 18th DLI for a further year before being transferred to the 54th Labour Corps. William returned to England and was discharged on 29 April 1919. On his discharge, William was awarded a weekly pension of 5/6 for a 20% disability which was to be reviewed after a year. His discharge papers show that following the end of the war William moved to York. It is unknown what happened to William after 1919.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Birth date: 1895

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Newcastle, Northumberland (1911 census)
Sunderland, Durham (enlistment papers)

Religion: Presbyterian

Employment: Law Clerk (1911 census)
Clerk (enlistment papers)

Family: Parents: William Wake, Margaret Conyers Wake
Siblings: Thomas Hinde Wake, Hilda Conyers Wake

Military service:

18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
54th Labour Corps

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Gemma, Durham University Intern

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