William Edward Hancock

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Personal Details

Born: 22 June 1898 in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Surname also spelled Hancocks.

Family: He was the eldest of three children born to Edward Hancocks, a labourer, and his wife Elizabeth. He married Elsie M Peake in 1933 in Whitchurch and together they had three children – Thomas E, Cyril W and Sylvia D.

Residence: In 1901 the family were living at 18 Yardington, Whitchurch where they continued to live until at least 1919. In 1939, William and Elsie were living at 31 Talbot Street, Whitchurch.

Employment: He was a tailor.

Died: June 1946 in Whitchurch, aged 47.

Military Details

Regiment: The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) (previously Army Service Corps)

Rank: Private

Service Number: 24474 (previously 91432)

Date of Enlistment: 12 July 1916

Date of Discharge: 21 October 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Medals and Awards

William was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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