Private William Thomas Banford (41426)

3rd Bn, The Worcestershire Regiment, 7th Brigade, 25th Division, B.E.F.

Malvern Commemoration: Malvern Library,

Burial/Commemoration: Lijessenthoek

Nature of Death: Died of wounds Flanders 3/8/17

Age: 19

Next of Kin: Son of Joseph and Maria Banford of Holland House, Malvern

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The Malvern News reported the following on the 11th August 1917: “Mr J Banford, of Holland House, Malvern has received intimation that his youngest son, a private in the Worcestershire Regiment has been killed in action, aged 19.”

Although it is not clear exactly when Banford received his fatal wounds, the 3rd Worcesters were heavily engaged at the beginning of August in the opening phase of the Passchendaele offensive. The battalion held a position on a ridge of higher ground at Westhoek outside Ypres on the Menin Road. They were to relieve units the 8th Division when ordered. From the 1st August to the 5th they held firm through heavy rainfall and continuous enemy shell fire. The regimental history records: “All night the front of the ridge was plastered with gas-shells of a new type which caused many casualties. the removal of the wounded was most difficult through the deep slime into which the sodden clay was fast being converted.” When the Battalion was finally relieved after dark on the 5th, they had lost 22 men killed and 106 wounded (including three officers).

Banford was buried at Lijessenthoek Military Cemetery, which was only about 15 miles behind the line, so it reasonable to assume that he was wounded in this action.

Malvern News 11/8/17
1901 Census
Stacke, Capt H FitzM The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War Kidderminster 1921

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