Pte. W.G. Cockerill


FIRST NAMES: William George

UNIT: 4th Cameron Highlanders

NUMBER: 3265

STATUS: Died of Wounds

DATE OF DEATH: 29th September 1915

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Nr. Boulougne, France

AGE: 27

William's wife's name was Belle, whom he married on 17th December 1911 at the age of 22. They lived at Waterloo Yard, Northallerton, and William worked as a labourer at Lewis and Coopers. When he joined the army Belle took a job there, despite also having to look after their three sons, in the hope that she would be able to preserve William's job until the War was over.

The following is an extract from a letter which he wrote to his wife, from Rouen, shortly after arriving in France. The letter is dated Wed. 15th September 1915:

My dear Bell,
You will have thought that I was never going to write to you, but you see we never can tell where we are going to be.
We left Southampton last Sat. and arrived at Rouen on Sun. afternoon and we are leaving here today for the line, so do not write to me until you hear from me again.............Well I have not much to tell you only that I am well and alright and hoping you and the bairns are the same. I will close with the best of love.
From your ever-loving Husband, Bill

Sadly, Bill's military career was destined to be a short one. Ten days after writing this letter the 4th Cameron Highlanders were thrust into the Battle of Loos in the Quarries Sector just in front of Hulluch. Shortly after occupying their positions on 25th September 1915, the Germans launched a counter-attack and drove the Camerons out of the Quarries. Bill was wounded during this action and transferred to a hospital on the coast at Wimereux, near Boulougne. He succumbed to his wounds four days later, on 29th September 1915, aged 27.