WILLIAM MCLEAN 

Rank: Private
Service Number: 243054.
Regiment: 1/5th Bn. Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
Formerly: 18252, Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
Killed In Action Friday 30th November 1917 Age 23County Memorial Macclesfield
Commemorated\Buried CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL
Grave\Panel Ref: Panel 3.
France

Born on 20th April 1894, at Douglas, Isle of Man, son of general labourer, Charles and Emma Caren McLean, 12, Shaw’s Brow, Onchan, Isle of Man. In 1901, seven year old William was living with parents at this address along with his siblings, Thomas (20), Emma (18), James (13), Robert (11) and Christiana (4). In 1911, William was employed as a messenger lad.

He attested at Darwen in Lancashire, unable to establish the exact date; however his medal index card shows that he entered France, 22/06/1915, so he was either a serving soldier or Territorial, or he joined the force at the outbreak of war. William was wounded in 1916 and repatriated back to England where he was admitted to the Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital. The hospital admission register confirms his rank, number and regiment and shows his age to be 22, his next of kin was his sister, Mrs Savage, of 12, Shaw’s Brow, Douglas, Isle of Man; he was discharged from hospital 4 October 1916.
During his time in Macclesfield, William must have met his future wife, Mary Ellen Dean, whom he married on 2 July 1917, at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield; the couple set up home at 3, Orchard Passage, Macclesfield. Their son, also, William, was born in the first quarter of 1918. William Snr was unfortunately killed in action, before the birth of his son, Friday, 30/11/1917, he would have been 23 years of age.
The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was in the 55th Division, 166 Infantry Brigade.

The Battalion war diary for November 1917 records the following:

WILLOW ROAD, Friday 30th November. About 7 am, the enemy started very heavy counter battery work against our guns in RAVINE behind 14, WILLOW ROAD, at the same time he started a very heavy bombardment on Divisional front line, and line on our left. 7.15 am, an urgent message was received from Brigade warning the Battalion to “STAND TO” this was promptly carried out and the 2 platoons of “B” company from VAUGHNS BANK, together with 2 platoons of the LIVERPOOL SCOTTISH moved to 14, WILLOWS ROAD, the shelling at this time had subsided and the situation appeared fairly  quiet, but about 8.30 am, large numbers of R.F.A. under an officer were seen retiring down LA PETIT SANT RAVINE. A party of Headquarters Platoons stopped these men and the officer in command stated that the enemy had passed through our front line and was coming over the VILLERS RIDGE. A party of Sappers also under an officer reported that the section had been completely cut up by the BOCHE in GLOSTER ROAD, an officer of the 1/5th LOYAL NORTH LANCS confirmed the statement. About 9.00 am several hundred of the enemy appeared over the Ridge to the right of VILLEWRS GUISLAIN and proceeded to dig in above LEITH WALK, rapid fire was opened on them by rifle and Lewis Guns with good effect.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank H.A.G Carlisle for the picture and information on William.