Monday, April 16, 2012

William Edwin Noll 48558 formerly 4511

William Edwin Noll

Born 10th October 1893 in Liverpool to Mary and Edwin Noll. William was christened on 1st November 1893 in St James’ Church, Toxteth, the christening record shows that the family lived at 50 Chester Street and Edwin was a mariner.

At the time of the 1901 census William was with his mother, his sister Elsie and his brother Redvers at the house of his maternal grandmother Mary Mercer at 12 Gwendoline St.

The 1911 census shows the family were still at this address but Mary Noll was the head of household (although listed as 'wife', Edwin was away at sea but still head of the household so they left a blank line for him) William had gained a sister, Mabel, and his maternal grandmother was also with them.

William worked as a clerk at the Cotton exchange, the photo on the right was probably taken when he got that job. I am told that his family were very proud that William became a Clerk.

On 28/11/1915  William enlisted in Liverpool as Rifleman (equivalent to private) No 4511 in the 6th Battalion The King's (Liverpool) Regt known as the Liverpool Rifles. 

The Liverpool Rifles, along with the Liverpool Scottish, were known as the more prestigious Battalions and they performed an important role in wartime recruitment by attracting middle-class recruits. They were also an important mixing point for the lower middle-classes (such as William in his Clerical position) with their social superiors. Before the war the 6th Battalion were known as the 'cuff and collar battalion'.

After a period of training the battalion embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne on 15/9/16, joining 24 Infantry Base Depot two days later.

On 24/9/16 William was transferred to 13th Battalion, The Kings (Liverpool) Regiment with the new regimental No 48558. William stayed with the 13th until he was killed in action on 28/3/18.  He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Arras Memorial.
Photo Amanda Taylor

William's name on the Arras Memorial
Photo Amanda Taylor

link to William's entry in the CWGC database (opens in new window)

The day that William was killed was a dramatic battle for the 13th KLR, the battalion diary shows that they repeated fought off enemy attacks and held their line until finally, with no reinforcements available, they had to withdraw.

link to the 13th Battalion The King's (Liverpool) Regiment war diary for the day William died. 28/03/1918 (on this blog, opens in new window)

The following image is of William's bible which was sent back to his mother after his death. The inscription reads

Nov 12th 1916

Whoever finds this return to my home address 12 Gwendoline St, Windsor St, Liverpool to my mother Mrs E Noll who was the best mother a chap ever had.

Signed W Noll 12/9/16

God Bless them all a[t] home also my sweetheart. Wm

photo Amanda Taylor

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