Leatherhead War Memorials : L/Cpl William Worsfold, 1st Bn East Surrey Regiment

Town Memorial P9.R3.C3

Taken Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS
The regimental records of the East Surreys give the following particulars of William Worsfold (see also FG Worsfold 28 Sept 1916 P10.R2.C1)

He was born¹ at Leatherhead and enlisted at Guildford and was serving with the 1st Bn East Surreys as a Lance Corporal [not as a Private as on the memorial] when he was killed in action on 21st August 1918 [not the 24th as on the memorial]. His regimental number was 32732.

What happened to the 1st Bn East Surreys is based on what is told in the unit War Diary²:

At 8.30 p.m. the battalion paraded and marched up to the assembly point. On 21st August it took up a position in MEANE TRENCH with the 1st Befordshires on the left and the 1st Devons on the right.

ZERO hour was 4.55 a.m.

A and C Coys went over the top first at ZERO + 4 minutes and B and D at ZERO + 8 minutes. Heavy mist prevailed. News came back at 11.30 a.m.. The battalion had stopped at the RED LINE and isolated machine-gun posts had caused some losses. The accompanying tanks has been knocked out. Four officers had been wounded and there had been 75 O.R. casualties.

The battalion had taken 70 prisoners and captured 25 machine-guns, a field gun and 6 trench mortars.

On Leatherhead's Town Memorial his inscription is:

William Worsfold
1st East Surrey Regiment
Aug 24 1918

1. Soldiers Who Died in the Great War, East Surreys Volume, Queens Regimental Museum, Clandon Park, Surrey
2. File WO95/1579
War Diary 1st Bn East Surreys, Public Record Office , Kew, London
3. ESR/2/3/29

Feb 09: Janice Steele of Fetcham U3A Local History Group adds:

The Nominal Roll ³ for the 1st Bn shows he joined it on 7 Dec 1916, posted to No. 3 Coy. He was wounded on 18 Feb 1917, sent to a Casualty Clearing Station the following day and rejoined the Bn on 14 May 1917. In Oct 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and on 18 Oct 1917 he was sent on an LG [Lewis Gun] course.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: East Surrey Regiment
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 21/08/1918
Service No: 32732
Additional information: Son of William and Jane Worsfold, of Bridge St., Leatherhead; husband of Elisabeth Brittan (formerly Worsfold), of 92, Lower Rd., Dorking, Surrey.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 6.

He is listed in the Chapel of Remembrance in the Parish Church.
The Church Lads Brigade Tryptich in All Saints Church lists him.
The RBL Roll of Honour lists him.

He is listed in the May 1915 issue of Leatherhead Parish Magazine among those serving.

The photo of William Worsfold was provided by Mrs Betty Worsfold of Fetcham, via Janice Steele.

Mrs Betty Worsfold also provided this photo of Cpl William Worsfold (R) with Sgt Frank Worsfold (middle) and Pte Jack Worsfold (L). Frank and Jack survived the war.

Janice Steele: In the 1901 Census William Worsfold, Scholar, was living in Bridge Street, Leatherhead, with his parents William, a Chimney Sweeper born in Rusper, Sussex, and Jane, born in Leith, Surrey: his siblings were Frank 8, Howard 7, Nell 3 and Ernest 1. Ernest's son Desmond married Betty.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry for L/Cpl William Worsfold

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page last updated 10 Mar 2009