Private 38436 William Maydew

Maydew William 96 433x600

Died of Wounds on Wednesday, 29th May 1918, age 26.
Buried in Grave XVII. A. 20. at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas De Calais, France.

4th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 25th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Peter's, Greets Green Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/4026459/

Genealogical Data

Birth of William Enos Maydew registered December Qtr 1891 in Dudley.

1901 Census
Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Ralph Maydew (62, Iron Worker, born Wolverhampton), his wife Elizabeth (52, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Thomas (23, Bolter Down - Ironworks, born Tipton), George H. (19, Furnaceman, born Tipton), John (15, General Labourer, born Tipton), Ralph (12, born Tipton), and William E. (9, born Tipton).

1911 Census
52 New Road, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Lodging with William and Elizabeth Hickinbottom was: William Maydew (19, Screwer in Tube Factory, born Tipton).

Marriage of William Maydew and Mary Allen registered September Qtr 1915 in Dudley. The birth of their daughter Edna M. was registered in December quarter 1915 in Dudley.

Personal Data

William's outstanding army pay and allowances were paid to his widow Mary A. in February 1919, this amounted to £8/18/1d (8 pounds, 18 shillings and 1 penny). His War Gratuity of £4/0/0d (4 pounds) was paid in December 1919, again to his widow Mary A. The value of the War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that he enlisted in March 1917.

Action resulting in his death

William Maydew died of wounds on 29th May 1918 at one of the numerous hospitals on the coast near Boulogne and was buried just north of Boulogne at Terlinchtun British Cemetery. We do not know when he received his wounds, but it is likely to have been during one the days during the German Spring Offensive when the 4th South Staffs lost most heavily. A summary of those actions follows.

The 4th Battalion, South Staffs (4/SS), as part of 25th Division, had significant and costly involvement in the defensive actions of the German Spring Offensive beginning on 21st March 1918. During the period 21st March to 31st May 1918 they lost a total of 12 Officers and 216 Other Ranks.

The first phase of German Offensive (Operation Michael) began on 21st March in the area of the 1916 Somme battlefield, the 4/SS were positioned the east of Bapaume. Their first significant action was on the 24th March when, on Palm Sunday, the Germans launched an attack which became known as the Battle of Bapaume. The 4/SS were forced to retreat and Bapaume was lost. 35 men of the 4/SS were killed on that day.

By the end of March, the first phase of the German Offensive was stalling, and the Germans switched their focus north to Flanders. The second phase of the Spring Offensive (Operation Georgette) began on the 9th April. 25th Division had been moved to the Flanders area and again faced the German onslaught. On the 9th April, the 4/SS were forced to retreat from Warenton to Hill 63, near today's Ploegsteert Memorial. On the 10th April, a major German assault fell on the 4/SS. Despite a spirited defence they were forced to withdraw to Neuve Eglise by the end of the day. 51 Other Ranks of 4/SS were killed on the day.

Towards the end of April, 4/SS were out of the line in reserve. On 25th April, the Germans captured Kemmel Hill and 25th Division were sent back to the line to counter attack on 26th April, this became known as the Second Battle of Kemmel. The attack was partially successful but 28 men of the 4/SS were lost on the day.

At the end of April 1918, 25th Division was one of the five divisions of Commonwealth forces posted to the French 6th Army in the Soissons area to rest and refit, supposedly in a quiet area. Here, on the 27th May, they found themselves facing the overwhelming German attack which pushed the Allies back across the Aisne to the Marne. This is most likely too late to be the action where William was wounded due to the distance to Boulogne where he died of his wounds.

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