Private 93 William Ewart Round

Round WilliamEwart 96 451x600

Died Mesopotamia on Friday, 7th April 1916, age 29.
Buried in Grave XIV. H. 4. at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq.

'B' Company of 1st Bn., Manchester Regiment. 8th (Jullundur) Brigade of 3rd (Lahore) Division.
Formerly 93, 2nd Bn., Manchester Regiment.

Son of Benjamin and Edith M. Round, of 8, Brown's Place, Pittsburg, Pa., U.S.A. Born at Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Burnt Tree, Enlisted: Worcester, Resident: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

First landed France & Flanders, 11th September 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, 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/635076/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
8 Bradley Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Benjamin Round (42, Iron Roller, born Sedgley), his wife Ethel Mary (40, born Wolverhampton), and their 8 children: Joseph F. (16, Carpenter's Apprentice, born Tipton), William E. (14, Moulder, born Tipton), Benjamin (12, born Tipton), Edgar (10, born Tipton), Edward (6, born Tipton), Samuel (4, born Tipton), Esther (2, born Tipton), and Alfred F. (1 month, born Tipton).

1911 Census
No trace, so possibly emigrated to the USA as his family were certainly in Pittsburgh by the time William enlisted.

Personal Data

On 13th July 1903, William enlisted with the 5th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. This battalion was previously the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, and after the Haldane Reforms would become a Territorial Batalion; it was a volunteer unit, for home defence only.

For some reason his career with the Worcesters was short, as he is recorded as leaving just 7 days after enlistment. It is possible that he left the 5th Battalion to join the army as a full-time soldier; this is possible as at the outbreak of war he landed in France in September 1914 showing that he had relevant pre-war military experience. There is some evidence to support this as his entry on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War' states “Formerly 7879, Worcestershire Regiment”.

William enlisted in 1903 in Birmingham; he was 18 years and 1 month old, 5 feet 3 inches tall, had just a 31-inch chest and weighed 112 pounds. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, had an anchor tattoo on his right forearm, and was recorded as being Church of England. He was employed a a Moulder at an Iron Foundry in Groveland Road, Tipton, and had already served in the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion of the South Staffs Regiment.

William's 1914 Star Medal Roll shows he was initially Private 93 with the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, and landed in France on 11th September 1914. This does not tie in with the initial arrival of the 2nd Manchesters in France, so he would have been in a reinforcement draft, and could have been a Reservist. It is also possible that he had previously served with the Manchesters and had immediately come back from America to enlist at the outbreak of war. At some unknown date William transferred to the 1st Battalion Manchesters, possibly on recovery from injury or sickness.

William's outstanding army pay and allowances was paid to his father Benjamin in August 1918, this amounted to £19/1/0d (19 pounds and 1 shilling). His War Gratuity of £9/10/0d (9 pounds and 10 shillings) was again paid to his father Benjamin in November 1919.

Action resulting in his death

By April 1916 William was serving with the 1st Manchesters who were part of the 8th (Jullundur) Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division. They had arrived in Basra, Mesopotamia, in January 1916 and advanced along the River Tigris to try to relieve the Siege at Kut.

In early March, the 1st Manchesters took part in an attack on the Dujalah Redoubt which protected the right bank of the Tigris south of Kut. They advanced across a front of 400 yards, but came under heavy fire. With bombs running out, their incursion into the Redoubt faltered and they were forced to withdraw. Over 170 men were killed, with 200 missing at the time; it is thought that William was taken prisoner on 8th March 1916.

William is recorded as having 'Died' on 7th April, this generally means having died from non-military reasons, such as sickness or accident. William died as a Prisoner of War (source: Soldier's Effects) and is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, this is about 100 miles north-west of Kut, where he was taken prisoner.

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