I have this on him
William Albert HAYCOCK
1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment
KiA in Italy on Friday 9 August 1918
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William was born in Rugeley to Albert Israel and Elizabeth (nee Powis) Haycock of 38, Bell Lane, Bloxwich and later of Station Gates, Bloxwich, his father being a platelayer for the London and North Western Railway.
Educated at Elmore Green School, Bloxwich, he was married to Mabel Haycock at Walsall in 1913 and lived with his parents.
William served in the Territorials and was mobilised at the outbreak of war at which time he was employed at the Bloxwich Spelter Works.
Drafted to Italy, William was killed during a night attack on the villages of Canove and Bellochio, the objective being to seize Canove, advance to the Val d’Assa and attack the enemy trenches there.
The assault began shortly after midnight but was immediately met by machine gun fire at the wire that was generally uncut. Canove was eventually reached and rushed but a pillbox at the far end prevented any further advancement. Canove was later cleared and the battalion withdrew with 27 prisoners. Enemy fire was continuous until 2am. The attack cost the battalion 11 killed, 48 wounded and 3 missing.
The War Diary records,
“8/9 August 1918 - The battalion in conjunction with raids of other battalions of the division raided Canove on night 8/9th. Zero hour 12 midnight. They succeeded in getting into the village, inflicting considerable losses on the enemy who refused to leave dugouts. Heavy machine gun fire prevented the raiding party deploying from the village, and raiding the Cemetery as was the original intention. The raiding party returned at 2am. Number of prisoners 27 (including 2 officers).”
William was 25 years of age when killed. He is commemorated on the Giavera Memorial and on the Walsall, Bloxwich and Elmore Green School rolls of honour.
Following his death his wife moved to 92, Bescot Street, Walsall.
William was probably employed by the Delaville Spelter Works in Willenhall Lane, Bloxwich.
NB The births register shows his wife's maiden name was Haycock.
Unfortunately you have just missed a rededication of the Elmore Green School War Memorial. The memorial was 'found' in a local stonemason where it was being kept and has been returned to Elmore Gren School, a re-dedication service taking place on Friday 11 November 2011. This was attended by the Mayor etc and was a very moving experience, the children from the school singing songs and reading out the names on the memorial.
A few local historians have been researching the memorial with a view to publishing a book next year. We would be very interested in getting in touch with you.
PLEASE PM me your e-mail address so that we can progress this.
I would be grateful for any more information you have.
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