William Lock was born in Devon in 1896, one of three children to Tom and Mary Lock, although sadly only William survived childhood. Tom was a shipwright in on the Devon coast, but brought his young family to Kent, where he found work in the Naval Dockyard in Chatham.
When William left school, he set about finding a trade. By the time of the 1911 census, aged 15, he was listed as “learning house joinery”, presumably a trade for which his father’s work would have stood him in good stead.
War was looming, however, and William enlisted. He joined the Royal Engineers at a time where they were being inundated with volunteers. Sapper Lock was assigned to G Company, a provisional troop that formed part of the Depot Battalion.
Documentation relating to Sapper Lock’s military service are no longer available; he was awarded the Victory and British Medals, which suggests that he saw some kind of service overseas, but there is nothing on file to confirm this.
The next document relating to William is his war pension, which confirms that he died on 20th January 1919 from ulcerated endocarditis, or heart disease. He was just 23 years old.
Tom and Mary had lost the third of their three children.
William Lock was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, Kent.