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Person Details
Walsall Staffordshire
He left a widow.
He worked for Boots at its Walsall Branch.
13 Aug 1915
489015 - CWGC Website
8079
Private
1/5th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment
He joined the Territorial Force and was mobilised on the outbreak of war. He was shot while on sentry duty and is buried in the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm), grave ref. I.E.11.
Boots ‘Comrades in Khaki’ September 1915, 'Dead on the Field of Honour': ‘Private WH Aldridge killed on duty, 13th August 1915. News has just been received of the death of Private WH Aldridge of the 5th South Staffs, who was before enlistment engaged at the Walsall branch, and who was shot while on sentry duty at the front, on the morning of August 13th. Fuller reference to his loss will be made in a subsequent issue.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, RB.38) Boots ‘Comrades in Khaki’ October 1915, 'Dead on the Field of Honour' (photograph): ‘The hand of death has pressed heavily upon our ranks during recent weeks, and the list of those now 'Dead on the Field of Honour' is sadly swelled. This is a sorrowful page in that it records the loss of brave men whom we all loved, but it is at the same time the proudest of our issue as a memorial of those who have served faithfull even unto death ... William Henry Aldridge, aged 24, who was employed at the Walsall branch of Boots, joined the Territorial service four years ago. When the forces were mobilised on the outbreak of war he joined his regiment the 5th South Staffords, and accompanied them on active service in March last. On August 13th he was shot dead while on sentry duty at the front. His commanding officer, Capt Winstance, has written to the widow in the following terms: ‘It is with the deepest regret I have to inform you of the death of your husband. He was shot while on sentry duty, and I hope it will comfort you a little to know that his death was quite painless. We all deplore his loss, for he had shown himself to be an excellent soldier, who always took a cheery view of what were, at times, trying circumstances.’ The lieutenant in charge of the platoon has also written to Mrs Aldridge expressing the regret felt at the loss of one of the best of soldiers, and the sympathetic testimony of the men is manifested in their many kindly letters. One old comrade says, ‘He always did his duty and died a hero’s death in the country’s hour of need.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, RB.38)
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