Private 27247 William James Morteboys

Morteboys William 96 750x482

Died of Wounds Salonika on Sunday, 24th December 1916, age 33.
Buried in Grave B. 174. at Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, Greece.

7th Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment. 78th Brigade of 26th Division.

Husband of Sarah Ann Morteboys, of No. 2, back of 155 Cromwell Street, Nechells, Birmingham.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Nechells, Warks..

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

Not commemorated on any Tipton 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/332009/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Trevor Street, Melbourne Place, Aston, Birmingham.
Thomas Morteboy (52, Building material Salesman, born West Bromwich), his wife Rebecca (45, born Great Bridge), and their 5 children: Harry (19, Carter, born Great Bridge), William (18, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Great Bridge), Thomas (16, Carter, born Walsall Wood), Ada (14, Weaver, born Walsall Wood), and Annie (6, born Birmingham).

1911 Census
13 Court, 5 House, Cromwell Street, Birmingham.
William Morteboy (28, Builder's Labourer, born Great Bridge), and his wife Sarah Ann (27, born Birmingham).
William and Sarah had been married 4 years, and their 2 children had both died. Happily a daughter, Hannah, was born in 1912, and there is no trace that she died in childhood.

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The 7th Battalion, Royal Berkshires, as part of 26th Division moved to Salonica in November 1915. It is likely that William Morteboys joined later than this as he was not eligible for the 1914/1915 Star. They had been in the area south of Lake Doiran, and had undertaken an attack on Kidney Hill in August, and the Mamelon raid in October. Other than this they were employed in a lot of road mending.

On the 23rd December 1916, a raid was made on Hill 380 by 'D' Company, whilst a feint was made by thirty men and two Lewis guns to divert attention from the main body. The first wave of attack advanced as far as the N.E. edge of Green Ravine, but was unable at first to go further, owing to "shorts" from the British barrage. When the barrage lifted, this wave advanced to the enemy trench which was found practically destroyed and most of its wire blown away.
The second wave then attempted to go forward beyond the trench, but suffered so severely from the fire it encountered that it had to retire once the dead and wounded had been evacuated.
The casualties were: 1 Officer and 5 Other Ranks killed, and 2 Officers and 29 Other Ranks wounded or missing.

It is likely that William Morteboys was one of the 29 Other Ranks wounded, and died the next day at the 31st Casualty Clearing Station and buried at the adjacent Janes Military Cemetery. The 560 burials at this low lying Cemetery were removed to Sarigol Cemetery in 1921.

Newspaper Cuttings