William Welch

William Welch

Personal Details

William Gordon Welch, born in Frodsham, Cheshire in 1885, the second son of William and Margaret Welch of 12, West View, Chemistry, Whitchurch.

Husband of Annie (nee Armstrong) Welch, of St Asaph, Denbighshire and father of Gordon Noel.

The 1911 Census records William as being employed as a Telegraph Wireman working for the General Post Office.

Military Details

Regiment : Signal Company, Royal Engineers
Rank : Sapper
Service Number : 142031

Died of Illness; United Kingdom 6th April 1917 Age 31

Medals and Awards
William was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied 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.

Further Information

Whitchurch Herald 14th April 1917

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 14th April 1917 regarding the death of William Gordon Welch

"William Gordon Welch, Sapper, Royal Engineers, Signal Company, he enlisted in 1915, and was engaged for some months in the Salonika front. Being taken ill he was sent to Hospital in Salonika, and remained there for some months, eventually he was sent home to England, and landed one week before he died in Bethnal Green Hospital London, on Good Friday, 31years old. He leaves a widow and one child; he was buried in Chester Cemetery, with full Military Honours
Also commemorated on the War Memorial in Rhyl, Denbighshire"

Whitchurch Herald 14th April 1917

Will of William Gordon Welch
Welch, William Gordon of 3 Sandfield-place Wood-road Rhyl Flintshire died 6 April 1917 at Bethnal Green Middlesex Administration St. Asaph 5 May to Annie Roberts (wife of Richard Roberts). Effects £37.

Taken from Forces War Records

If you can provide any further information on William Gordon Welch please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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