CWG: Private William Rawle

Private William Henry Rawle

William Henry Rawle was born in 1890, the eldest child of George Rawle, a sailor, and Louisa, his wife.

At the time of the 1911 census, William was working as a carter on a farm not far from Porlock in Somerset.

He enlisted in August 1914, joining the Somerset Light Infantry and serving as part of the Expeditionary Force. After a couple of postings, Private Rawle was transferred to the Pioneer Depot in March 1916.

Six months later William was medically discharged as unfit for continued service. His notes highlight his distinguishing marks as 3 marks on his left arm, birth mark under his right nipple and gunshot wound to the left eye (which I am guessing is what led to his discharge).

William died on 11th June 1921, aged 27 years old. I have been unable to find anything specific relating to his death and it is likely, therefore, that no misadventure was involved.

Private William Henry Rawle lies at peace in the churchyard of Lydeard St Lawrence, alongside his brothers Stephen and Ernest.

It should be noted that, by June 1921, Louisa Rawle had lost three of her four sons to the Great War. Her husband, George, had also passed away in 1915.

Louisa’s other son – Edward – also served, enlisting in the Somerset Light Infantry and fighting in the Balkans. Private Edward Rawle survived the war, returning home in March 1919.

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