William Gough

William Gough

Personal Details

William Gough (Goff in 1911 Census) was born in Farndon, Cheshire, in 1894, the second son of John and Alice Gough of ‘Northumbria’, Mile Bank, Whitchurch.

The 1911 Census shows William as a farm worker and living in Wirswall.

His family name was Goff, rather than Gough. The 1901 and 1911 Census records have the family in the name of Goff and his birth and baptism records are in the name of Goff. His attestation was, however, in the name of Gough and this is how he was known throughout his military career.

Military Details

Regiment : 105th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
(Formally King’s Shropshire Light Infantry No 19559)
Rank : Private
Service Number : 27193

Killed in Action France 20th August 1916 Age 22

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 9th September 1916

Letter in the Whitchurch Herald 9th September 1916 received by Mr and Mrs Gough regarding the death of their son, William Gough.

"Dear Mr Goff,
It is with very great regret that I have to communicate to you a very bad piece of news, namely that we lost your son in the fighting here on the night of the 23rd of this month. He was crossing a very dangerous piece of ground carrying the gun, when he was stopped by a beam across the trench, and it was while crossing the obstacle that a shell burst between him and the man behind him bury them both. We called to them but to no purpose, they had disappeared. Next morning I saw what had happened, and discovered them both badly wounded and pinned down by the beam. We extracted the bodies and buried them decently close to the spot and marked it with a cross. He must have been killed instantly, for he had several mortal wounds. That is all I glad of, because he was one of my best and reliable men, and I am very, very sorry for his death. If I can be any further assistance in settling his affairs I shall be glad to give you every help. Please accept my sincere sympathy and that of the whole section in your loss I remain yours sincerely"

John A Frazer, S/Lieutenant

Whitchurch Herald 9th September 1916

If you can provide any further information on William Gough 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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