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Sample entries text

Presented below are some entries from the book.

2nd Lieutenant Basil Walwyn White
King`s Liverpool Regiment
(attached 55 Squadron Royal Flying Corps)
Born : Liverpool.
Enlisted : Not known.
Resided : “Strathdene” Hillfoot Road, Woolton Liverpool.
Killed in air combat over France on 8th April, 1917, aged 19.
Buried at Ontario Cemetery, Plot F, Row 3, Grave E21.

The only son of Walwyn & Nancy White, the proprietors of White`s Railway Engineering Works in Ditton Road, he was the grandson of Richard White of Widnes.# Basil or “Billy” as he was better known, an observer & gunner in the RFC was shot down and killed over France in April, 1917. Billy and his pilot, Lt B. Evans in a DH4 bomber, serial No.A2141 were one of flight of four bombers on a mission to attack the Chateau at Hardenpoint near Mons which housed the headquarters of the Army Group commanded by Prince Rupert.

On the return journey the DH4`s were ambushed by Jasta 11, commanded by Baron Manfred Von Richthoften, north of Cambrai at around 14.30 hours. Of the four RFC bombers only one returned to its airfield at Fienvillers near to Doullens, two were shot down by pilots of Jasta 11 and one DH4 was brought down by anti-aircraft fire. Billy White, with his pilot Lt B. Evans, was shot down over Blecourt by Lt Kurt Wolff of Jasta 11, it was Wolff`s eighth victory of a total of 33 kills between 6th March-15th September, 1917.

On the 15th September Wolff was himself shot down by Flight Sub Lieutenant N.M. McGregor of the Royal Naval Air Service over Moorslede. He crashed north of Wervicq at 17.30hours. The mission to bomb the chateau at Hardenpoint was only the second mission that 55 Sqn had undertaken since arriving in France in March, 1917, the first mission, on the 3rd April, was completed without loss.

## Billy White was educated at Rhos on Sea and in May, 1911 went to Sedbergh public school (Evans House) in Yorkshire. A weak boy, he suffered from a slight heart condition and was prohibited from taking part in sports until passed fit in his final year. He left Sedbergh in December, 1915 and a short time later enlisted. Originally gazetted into the King`s Liverpool Regiment, he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps and attended Cadet training at Brasenose College in Oxford between November-December, 1916.

After this course he went to train for his pilots certificate. Gaining his wings, he was sent to Brooklands for further flying experience. Before going on active service to France he attended a gunnery course at Hythe in Kent. ### # WWN 1917. ## Bloody April-Black September. (Norman & Franks) ### Sedbergh School Magazine.

CERA Robert Price Lewis
No.1461 EA(D)
HMS “Laurentic”
Born : Not known.
Enlisted : Not known.
Resided : 13 Eric Street, Widnes, Lancashire.
Drowned in the Atlantic on 25th January, 1917, aged 28.
No known grave; he is commemorated on the Plymouth Memorial.

The son of Hannah & the late Hugh Lewis, he was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve, a Chief Engineering Room Artificer on the the “Laurentic”, she was a White Star liner and sank off Malin Head on the 25th January, 1917. She had left Liverpool on 23rd January, 1917 bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia with a consignment of gold bullion to the value of £500,000 as payment for munitions.

At 5.55pm on 25th January, she was struck a mine on the starboard side and twenty seconds later hit another mine on the same side. The crew of 722 officers & men started to abandon ship and fifteen lifeboats cleared the sides, subsequently only seven of these were saved. 354 men were lost in this sinking.

The minefield had been laid by U.80 and HMS “Laurentic” struck two mines moored twenty feet below the surface and sank in 23 fathoms of water.Six weeks after the sinking, a salvage operation to recover the gold bullion was mounted and in a series of 5,000 dives from the salvage ship, “Racer”, experts retrieved a total of 3,186 gold bars valued at £4,958,708. The cost of the operation was just £128,000.# # Peter Threlfall. 1998.

Pte Stephen Power
National Reserve
The South Lancashire Regiment [PWV]
Born : Not known.
Enlisted : January, 1915.
Resided : 21 Major Cross Street, Widnes, Lancashire.
Accidentally killed in Farnham, Surrey on 15th May, 1915, aged 43.
Buried at Widnes Cemetery, Plot 5R, Grave 1221.

Stephen Power had already served his country for 12 years in the Regular Army and spent 11 of them in India.# On his discharge he returned to Widnes living with his sister, Mrs Kinsella and working as a railway signaller at the works of the Hutchinson Estate Trustees. He was the son of Catherine and the late John Power.

He enlisted into the National Reserve in January, 1915 and although too old to go on active service was, along with other men who were ineligible through age or health reasons used to guard key locations in mainland Britain.In the afternoon of 15th May, 1915, Pte Power was carrying out his duty guarding a railway line at Bentley, near Farnham in Surrey. His comrades had noted he seemed unwell and he was seen sitting on the parapet of a narrow bridge immediately adjacent to the railway lines, leaning forward holding his head in his hands.

He was still in this position when he was struck on the head by the buffers of a passing train killing him instantly.## #

In the 1921 Town Hall List his service number is listed as 89, this may have been his pre war army number. ## WWN 1915.