Private 20672 William Randle

Randle William 96 347x600Randle William 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 3rd September 1916, age 26 or 27.
Buried in Grave II. B. 41. at La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie, Somme, France.

14th Bn., Gloucestershire Regiment. 105th Brigade of 35th Division.

of 5 Lewis Street, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs
Born: Great Bridge, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Tipton.

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 Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/67134/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
54 Pudding Bag Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
William Randle (30, Cattle Drover, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (29, born Tipton), four of their children: Hannah (9, born Tipton), Jane (7, born Tipton), Elizabeth (4, born West Bromwich), and William (1, born West Bromwich).

1901 Census
22 Old Row, Tipton, Staffs.
William Randle (45, Cattle Drover, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (41, born Tipton), three of their children: Lizzie (15, born Tipton), Willie (11, born Tipton) and Joseph (7, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
Court 1 House 4, Eagle Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
William Randle (53, Cattle Drover, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (52, born Tipton), two of their 5 surviving children of 7: William (21, Boat Emptyer, born Tipton) and Joey (19, Glass Blower's Assistant, born Tipton).

Marriage of William Randle and Maria Farrington registered December quarter 1911 in Dudley.

The births of Hannah Randle and Maria Randle were registered in June quarter 1912 and June quarter 1914 respectively in Dudley. As their mother's surname is shown as Farrington, it is likely these were William and Maria's daughters.

Marriage of Joseph Rushton and Maria Randle registered June quarter 1917 in Dudley.

Personal Data

The 14th Gloucesters was initially a Bantam Battalion of the 35th Division, but by the end of 1916 'Bantam' volunteers were no longer up to standard and no more were accepted. As William Randle died in September 1916, it can be reasonably assumed that he was a Bantam, and was between 5 feet and 5 foot 3 inches tall.

After William's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/1/6d (3 pounds, 1 shilling and 6 pence); this was paid to his widow, Maria, in November 1916. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Maria in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that William had enlisted in August 1914. By the time of the War Gratuity payment Maria had re-married and was Mrs Maria Rushton, having married Joseph Rushton in 1917.

Action resulting in his death

The 35th Division had arrived in France by early February 1916. Their first major offensive was in the second phase of the Battle of the Somme, at Bazentin Ridge on the 15th July 1916, then Arrow Head Copse and Maltzhorn Farm from the 19th to 30th July, and its last battle of 1916 at Falfemont Farm 19th to 26th August.

It is possible that William was wounded at Falfemont Farm, but given that his death was a week after that action, it is also possible that he was wounded at a later date. He is buried at La Neuville British Cemetery at Corbie on the Somme.

Newspaper Cuttings

West Bromwich News 16th September 1916
Private William Randle was 25 years of age, and lived at 5 Lewis Street, Great Bridge, near Wednesbury. He was married. He enlisted in 1915, and had been in France some nine months. He was in 'D' Company (20672), No.1 Platoon, 14th Gloucester Regiment, and was killed somewhere in France on September 12th.
(Editor: this is an error, the CWGC records September 3rd, September 12th would have been too soon to report in the September 16th edition of the newspaper).

Tipton Herald 18th November 1916
(By arrangement with "Birmingham Gazette.")
Private William Randle is another of the gallant men of Tipton who have given their lives for King and Country. His home was at 5 Lewis Street, Great Bridge.

Randle William Death Certificate 96
Courtesy of Fiona Daly.