William Thomas Woodham was born at the end of 1877 in Peasedown St John, Somerset. One of four children, his parents were coal miner and pit worker William Thomas and his wife, Sarah. The young family quickly moved from Peasedown to nearby Radstock to set up home.
William Jr did not immediately follow his father to the mine: instead, when he left school, he found work as a cowherd for a local farm. By the time of the 1911 census, however, he was recorded as being a colliery stoker.
The following year, William married Matilda Gulliford. She was a local coal miner’s daughter: the couple went on to have three children, Gwendoline, Stanley and Irene.
In his spare time, William volunteered for the Somerset Light Infantry and, when war broke out, he was formally placed on reserve – mining was one of the reserved occupations. However, in June 1915, he transferred to the Royal Engineers, and was sent to the Military Barracks at Taunton for training.
Sapper Woodham was due to be sent to France in the spring of 1916, but started feeling unwell. He was admitted to the Taunton Military Hospital, suffering from pneumonia on 20th February, but his condition worsened. He passed away at the hospital on 1st March 1916, aged 38 years old.
William Thomas Woodham’s body was brought back to Radstock; he was laid to rest in the graveyard of the town’s St Nicholas’ Church.