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  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 1st November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his faebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Person Details
14 Jul 1887
William was born on 14th July 1887 in Plymouth Devon and was the son of Mark Thomas Northmore, a boatman in His Majesty's Coastguard, and Harriett Elizabeth Northmore née Endacott. His father Mark was born on 24 February 1868 in Plymouth, his mother Harriett Elizabeth Endacott was born in 1870, also in Plymouth. They were married in 1894 in Plymouth and appear to have had six children, all of whom were born in areas of Plymouth, although on the 1911 Census they provided the information that in 16 years of marriage they had had four children of whom only three were still living at the time of the census. Five children were named on the two census in 1901 and 1911 - William Francis b. 14 July 1887, Mark b. 24 January 1890, Alice May b. 1895, George Clarence b. 1896 and Ivy Catherine - but it seems that unless there is an error in the index of registration of births that they had two daughters named Catherine Ivy. One child named Catherine Ivy Northmore was born in 1901 (registered J/A/S, East Stonehouse) and another, also named Catherine Ivy, was born in 1902 (registered J/A/S, East Stonehouse), with the death of an Ivy Catherine Northmore aged 0 years being registered in 1902 (A/M/J, East Stonehouse). Mark Thomas served in the Royal Navy from 28th March 1883 and appears to have transferred to the Coast Guard sometime before 1901 although details of his service continued to be kept on his Naval record until he transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve around 1908. This suggests that his time in the Coast Guard was either recognised as continuous naval service or that he was on detachment from the Royal Navy. However, on 2 August 1914 he joined HMS Ocean and continued to serve in the Royal Navy until 27 August 1918. In the 1901 census Mark Thomas is shown as a boatman in His Majesty's Coastguard. Mark (32), his wife Harriett (32), and his young family - William (13), Mark (9), Alice (5) and George (1) - are living at 10 Coast Guard Cottages, Devonport. William joined the Royal Navy two years later on 20 March 1903 when he was 15 years old, engaging for 12 years on his 18th birthday on 14 July 1905. He began his naval career in HMS Impregnable as a Boy 2nd Class on 28 March 1903 but was discharged from the Royal Navy in 1908 after serving 90 days hard labour for stealing a 5 shilling postal order. William's brother, Mark, joined the Royal Navy on 8 November 1905 when he was 15 years old and engaged for 12 years on his 18th birthday on 24 January 1908. In 1911 he was an Able Seaman serving in HMS Kent in 'China and East Indies.' Mark was invalided out on 8 February 1914 suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and was awarded a pension. In the 1911 census we find William a prisoner in His Majesty's Prison, Green Bank, Plymouth (no details as to why). His occupation was given as merchant seaman. At the time of the 1911 Census his family was living at 14 Northcote Terrace, Kirkwhite Street, Meadows, Nottingham, and are shown as Mark Thomas 42 years head of the family a Naval pensioner and lift attendant at an insurance company, his wife Harriett 41 years and two of their children George Clarence 14 years, an apprentice iron moulder, and Ivy 8 years. William's brother, George Clarence, served with 12th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps and was killed on 5th October 1915. Their parents and siblings must have been devastated when the two brothers were killed in action on the Western Front within two weeks of each other (25th September and 5th October 1915). The CWGC record gives Harriet's address as 76 Dickby [Kirkby] Street, Nottingham, which was the address given for William when a report of his death was published in the local paper. However, Harriet and her husband later returned to Devon as Mark Thomas died in Plymouth on 26 August 1944 aged 76. Harriet died in 1957 (death registered December, Plymouth), aged 88. Of their surviving children, Alice May probably died on 15 June 1975 aged 80 (DOB given as 21 May 1895); her home was in Langham, Ivybridge, Devon. Mark may have died in 1966 (death registered June, Durham). A Catherine Ivy Northmore married John RD Endacott in 1936 (registered A/M/J, Plymouth) and died aged 76 in 1978 (death registered September, Plymouth); her date of birth was given as 15 July 1902.
He was an errand boy when he joined the Royal Navy in March 1903. He was discharged from the Navy in 1908 and probably joined the Merchant Navy as this was given as his occupation on the 1911 census.
25 Sep 1915
1765860 - CWGC Website
8th Bn Devonshire Regiment
William joined the Royal Navy on 20 March 1903 and engaged for 12 years on reaching his 18th birthday on 14 July 1905. He served inthe following ships and shore establishments: HMS Impregnable, 28 March 1903-1 April 1903 (Boy 2nd Class); HMS Lion, 2 April 1903-25 September 1904 (Boy 1st Class 13 December 1903); HMS Lion, 2 November 1904-7 November 1904; Vivid I, 8 November 1904-6 February 1905; HMS Diamond, 7 February 1905-14 September 1906 (Signaller 14 July 1905). (28 days hard labour.) HMS Victory, 13 October 1906-3 January 1907. (90 days for unlawful possession.) HMS Victory, 13 April 1907-18 April 1907; Vivid I, 19 April 1907-1 September 1907, (RUN), Vivid I, 13 November 1907-5 January 1908, HMS Majestic 6 January 1908-23 February 1908. He was eventually discharged from the Navy, 'services no longer required', after a number of serious offences. The Naval record is difficult to read but it seems that he was awarded at least four sentences to hard labour: 15 September 1906, 28 days hard labour for absence. 4 January 1907, 90 days hard labour (unlawful possession). Warrant 12 September 1907, sentenced to 62 days hard labour. 29 February 1908, approved discharge SNLR [Services No Longer Required] after 90 days hard labour for stealing a 5 shilling postal order. However, after war was declared William enlisted at Tumble, Carmarthenshire, and served with the 8th battalion Devonshire Regiment. He joined the British Expeditionary Force on 25th July 1915 and within two months he was killed in action on 25th September 1915. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
His mother, Harriet, was his sole legatee. Caption under photograph in Nottingham Evening Post: 'Pte WF Northmore, 8th Devons, 76 Kirkby St, Nottm, killed in action Sept. 23, aged 26.’ Probate: Northmore Mark Thomas of 1 Oxford-terrace Plymouth died 26 August 1944 at The City Hospital Plymouth Probate Llandudno 25 January to Harriet Stevens widow. Effects £185 7s. 8d.
Remembered on


  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 1st November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his faebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    William Francis Northmore - Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 1st November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his faebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.