William Dunn was born on 31 October and baptised on 2 November 1895 at St Mary's Church, Whitegate, the son of Emma and William Dunn, a labourer of Whitegate, near Northwich. In 1901, five-year-old William was living at nearby Dalefords Lane with his parents and older sisters Martha Ann (13) and Frances Annie (10).
By 1911, the family had moved to 263 Black Road, Macclesfield, and 22 year old William was living there with his parents and younger siblings James (18), May (17), Edith (13), Annie (10), Samuel (8) and Harry (3); at that time he was employed as a cotton spinner.
William was educated at Whiteford Church of England School and at Winsford Verdin County Grammar School, but left school in December 1909 to work as a sawyer. However, by the time of the 1911 census he was working as a domestic gardener. According to the Cheshire Police Museum, he was working in Macclesfield as a policeman in 1914.
William enlisted in Macclesfield, joining the Grenadier Guards. Whilst stationed at the Chelsea Barracks in London he married Lilian Louisa Cockerill by licence on 19 August 1915 at St Mary's Church, Bayswater.
The death of Cpl William Dunn was reported in the Chester Chronicle on 18 November 1916:
SANDIWAY - CRICKETER'S DEATH FROM WOUNDS
The death from wounds has been reported of Corporal William Dunn, the son of Mr and Mrs Dunn, of Daleford, Sandiway, and who was a member of the Grenadier Guards. Corporal Dunn was 20 years of age, and enjoyed the esteem of a wide circle of friends in Sandiway and district. He was a member of the church, and at one time he was connected with the Sandiway Cricket Club. A little more than a year ago he was married, and then, soon afterwards, went over to France and fought bravely up to the time he was wounded. The chaplain, who ministered to him and his comrades while in hospital, wrote to his relatives, "I saw him often. We had prayers together... He was buried in a lovely cemetery with military honours."
L/Cpl William Dunn is buried in Grave Ref. I.E.13. at Somme, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for William Dunn, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.,
William Dunn is not known to be commemorated in Macclesfield, but he is named on the following war memorials: St Mary's Church, Whitegate; Meadowbank Methodist Church, Winsford; Cheshire Constabulary, Winsford.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past)
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (Find My Past)
London, Church of England Marriage Registers (Ancestry)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Lives of the First World War website
War Memorials Register
Chester Chronicle, 18 November 1916
Research by Rosie Rowley, Congleton.