William Laycock

Labour Corps

Personal Details

Born: 22 March 1877 in Ruabon, Denbighshire, Wales and baptised 13 June 1877 in Ruabon Parish Church.

Family: He was the third of six children born to John Spencer Laycock, an accountant, and his wife Lucy Elizabeth, nee Wellham. No marriage can be found for William.

Residence: At the time of his baptism in 1877 the family were living at Hafod Cottage, Ruabon, Denbighshire. They were still living there in 1891. The 1901 Census shows William as a boarder at 2 Haven Lane, Ealing, Middlesex. Ten years later, in 1911, he had returned to Wales and was a lodger at Plas Tirion Farm, Llanwrst, Denbighshire. The address shown for him on the 1919 Absent Voters’ Register is 6 Chemistry, Whitchurch, Shropshire; this was the home of two of his sisters. By 1939 his address was 19 Denmark Street, Ealing, Middlesex. At the time of his death in 1945, he was living at 135 Chester Road, Northwich, Cheshire.

Employment: In 1901 his occupation was described as an estate agent`s clerk. By 1911 he was an architect and surveyor and in 1939 a building inspector.

Died: 29 January 1945 in Northwich, Cheshire, aged 67.  

Military Details

Regiment: Labour Corps (previously Royal Engineers and West Yorkshire Regiment)

Rank: Colour Sergeant

Service Number: 446943 (previously 186311, 545353 and 58251)

Date of Enlistment:  Not known

Date of Discharge:  Not known

Reason for Discharge: Not known

Other Information: His brother, Spencer Wellham Laycock, also served in WW1.

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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