CWG: Private William Woodbury

Private William Woodbury

William Alfred Woodbury was born in the Somerset village of Nether Stowey in April 1899, the oldest of four children to Alfred and Nellie Woodbury. Alfred was a farm labourer, and, by the time William was a couple of years old, he had moved the family to the town of Bridgwater to work as a carter.

After leaving school, William found work at Barham Brothers’ Brickworks in the town. When war broke out, he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry almost as soon as he was able to, at the beginning of 1916.

Assigned to the 6th (Service) Battalion and Private Woodbury was sent out to the Western Front in April. He would almost certainly have seen action at the Battle of Delville Wood – part of the Somme offensive – and was wounded in the shoulder and arm on 18th August 1916.

Shipped back to the UK for treatment, William was admitted to the Western General Hospital in Cardiff, but tragically died from his wounds less than a fortnight later on 30th August 1916. He was just 17 years old.

His funeral was reported in both the Shepton Mallet Journal and the Central Somerset Gazette; his father, who had been serving in France as part of the Army Veterinary Corps, managed to return home for his son’s funeral.

William Alfred Woodbury lies at rest in the St John’s Cemetery in his home town of Bridgwater.

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