William Henry Hammacott was born on 11th January 1892 and was the oldest of four children. His parents were labourer George Hammacott and his wife Ellen; both were born in Chudleigh, Devon, and this is where they raised their family.
When William left school he too found work as a labourer, but war was coming to Europe, and he was keen to play his part. Full details of his service haven’t survived, but he had enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment by 1915, and served on home soil.
Private Hammacott survived the war and earned the Victory, British and Territorial Force Medals for his service. During his time, he contracted malaria and was discharged from the army on medical grounds on 29th March 1919.
William returned home, and his trail goes cold for the next year. It is likely that his bout of malaria left him particularly vulnerable: he passed away on 4th May 1920, having contracted pneumonia. He was just 28 years old.
William Henry Hammacott was laid to rest in Chudleigh Cemetery.