Born in the last quarter of 1879, William was the third son born to Martin and Mary Molloy of Middlewich. In 1891 the family were living at 99 Lewin Street, William’s father Martin who came from county Mayo Ireland was working as an agricultural labourer, William age 11 is at school. By 1901 the family were living at 23 Newton Bank, William age 21 was working as a labourer. Then ten years later when the 1911 census was taken it shows William married to Eliza (nee Maddock) and his family living at 34 Newton Bank, he was working as a Salt drawer. It states he had been married for six years to Eliza, they had four children, they would go on to have nine.
William enlisted in July 1916, joining the Lancashire Fusiliers, however before he went aboard he was transferred to the Lincolnshire Regiment.
Tragedy was to come to family, in June 1917 while William was in France Eliza died, William requested leave but didn’t get home in time for the funeral. He wasn’t allowed to stay with his nine children and returned to France seven days later. Just a few days before Eliza died, Edward Molloy, William's elder brother of two years had died of wounds in France. A few weeks after arriving back at the front William was killed when taking part in a trench raid.
Chester Chronicle 1st September 1917
Father of Nine Killed
There are exceptional sad features in connection with the death of Pte. William Molloy, of the Lincolnshire Regiment, who has been reported killed in action on August 5th. The deceased, who was 38 years of age, was a native of Middlewich and for some years was employed in Ravenscroft Hall gardens, where his father worked before him. Prior to that he was in Crewe works and during that period was a member of the Royal Engineers. Two years ago, he obtained a job as fireman at the Westinghouse, Manchester and with his wife and family went to reside there. He enlisted in July last year and last June his wife died leaving nine children. Pte Molloy applied for leave but arrived too late for the funeral. He had the sympathy of the towns people in his terrible bereavement and it was considered a great hardship that he should have to go back to the front again. Prior to his wife’s death his brother Pte. Edward Molloy died from wounds in France. The sad news of William Molloy’s death was received by his sister in law Mrs. Dale of Newton Bank, Middlewich in a letter from the records office.
Trench raids were a regular occurrence, they were designed to gain intelligence and to cause as much damage as possible, it also meant that either side had to be ready and alert at all times.
The battalion war dairy for the 5th August reads: 10pm Sherwood Foresters on our right carried out a raid with the object of securing identifications, “A” Company under Capt. Carroll co-operated with them, Lewis guns and rifle bombers, 1 O.R wounded later died of wounds, 1 O.R killed.
The one O.R (other rank) killed was William.