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  • The family grave of the Wibdy family commemorating  William Walter Wibdy at Nottingham Northern Cemetery 
Photo courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
08 Apr 1899
Bulwell Nottingham
William was the only son of Walter Webster Wibdy and his wife Catherine. His father had been born in Cambridge and had moved to Nottingham with his parents, William and Mary, and brother Herbert some time before the 1881 census as in 1881 they were living at 5 Alpine Street, Basford. William was working as a general labourer and both his sons were coal miners. Walter joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1897 when he was 20 years old and was still serving when he married Catherine Bunting at Nottingham Register Office on 28 April 1894. Catherine, who was born in Somercotes, Derbyshire, was the daughter of Job and Ann Bunting and had been a lace mender before her marriage. Walter and Catherine had eight children; Ethel Grace, William Walter (b. 8 April 1899), Lillian Ada (b. 27 November 1900), Annie Maud (b. 4 July 1902), Dorothy Ellen (b. 20 July 1904), Catherine May (b. 29 May 1906), Hilda Eva (b. 26 January 1911) and Frances Jessie (b. 30 August 1915). In 1901 while Walter was still serving in the army, Catherine was living at 2 Albert Street, Bulwell, with their first three children; Ethel (4), William (2) and Lillian (4 months). Catherine was a grocer/shop keeper on her own account and employed a young domestic servant, Sophia Hinton (12). His father was discharged from the army in 1902 as 'medically unfit for further service' and in 1911 he and his wife were living at 22 Broomhill Road which was to be their home until their deaths in 1920 and 1932 respectively. Walter had probably taken over the business which Catherine had been managing in 1901 as he was described as a baker/shopkeeper on his own account. By the time of the census they had seven children; Ethel Grace (14), who was assisting in the family business, William (11), Lillian (10), Annie (8), Dorothy (6), May (4) and Hilda (2 months). A seventh daughter, Frances Jessie, was to be born on 30 August 1915 just 4 months after Walter had enlisted in the Army Service Corps. William's father who had served in South Africa (1900-1901) during his 16 years service with the King's Royal Rifle Corps, was serving in Ireland (Cork) when he was discharged on 20 May 1902 when he was 36 years 1 month old. He then enlisted in the Army Service Corps (03668 Private) on 22 April 1915 when he was 46 years old. He was discharged 'no longer physically fit for ward service' on 21 November 1917 and died as a result of war service on 11 April 1920, his 53rd birthday. See this ROH for further details of Walter's military service. William's mother died on 11 January 1932 aged 59 years. His eldest sister, Ethel Grace, married Clarence Holliday in 1920 and may have emigrated to America by 1930. Lillian Eva may have emigrated to Canada (1919-1924) and Annie may also have moved to Canada. Dorothy Ellen died on 18 November 1928 aged 24. Catherine May married Leslie Hardy in 1932 and died in 2002 aged 96 (death registered Tunbridge Wells, Kent), one child Stephen A Hardy (1938, Kent). Hilda Eva married Thomas G Allen in 1938 and died in 1993 aged 72 (death registered Lincoln), two children Sandra E (1942) and Glen (1945). The youngest daughter, Frances Jessie married George E Osborn in 1938 and died in 1988 aged 72 (death registered Mansfield), one child Leigh (1946).
In 1911 he was still at school and he probably joined the Royal Navy either on leaving school or shortly afterwards
31 May 1916
3039128 - CWGC Website
J/ 33212
Boy Telegraphist
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
He joined the Royal Navy served as a boy telegraphist and was lost when HMS Queen Mary was sunk during the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. His body was not recovered for burial and his name is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and on the family grave at Nottingham Northern Cemetery. He qualified for the Star (unspecified 1914/1915), British War Medal and Victory Medal which were sent to his legatee. Battle of Jutland. HMS Queen Mary (Captain CI Prowse) put to sea with the Battlecruiser Fleet (Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty in HMS Lion) to intercept a sortie by the German High Seas Fleet into the North Sea. ‘As the Queen Mary fought back under the concentrated fire of Sydlitz and Derfflinger, observers saw three shells of a salvo of four strike home on her at 4.26, followed quickly by two more shells from the next salvo. As a tremendous flame of dark red burst from her and a pillar of smoke rose high into the air, she was rent apart by a shattering concussion as her magazines exploded … Her back broken, the gallant Queen Mary threw her stern into the air, her propellers still slowly revolving … then as further underwater explosions shook her, she plunged to the bottom.’ (‘Jutland’, Captain Donald MacIntyre RN, 1957) There were only a few survivors from a ship’s company of nearly 1300 men. The wreck was discovered in the North Sea in 1991; she is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
There is a photograph of William in uniform on 'Ancestry public member photos and scanned documents' and also on www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/hms_queen_mary.htm Inscription on the family gravestone, Northern Cemetery, Nottingham Northern Cemetery family headstone: ‘In Memoriam. Walter Webster Wibdy, died April 11th 1920 aged 53 years. Also William Walter, son of the above born April 8th 1899 Lost in the Jutland Battle May 31st 1916. Post mortem. Per mare. Per terras. Deo gratia. Ad majorem Dei gloriam. Also Dorothy E. died Novr. 18th 1928 aged 24 years. Also Catherine wife and mother of the above died January 11th 1932, aged 59 years.’ Probate: Wibdy Walter of 22a Broomhill-road Bulwell Nottingham general dealer died 11 April 1920 Probate Nottingham 6 August to Thomas Hardy estate agent. Effects £1873 8s. 7d. Probate: Wibdy Catherine of 22a Broomhill-road Bulwell Nottinghamshire widow died 11 January 1932 Administration Nottingham 15 April to Catherine May Hardy (wife of Leslie Allan Hardy) and Hilda Eva Wibdy spinster. Effects £1589 5s. 4d.
Remembered on


  • The family grave of the Wibdy family commemorating  William Walter Wibdy at Nottingham Northern Cemetery 
Photo courtesy of Peter Gillings
    William Walter Wibdy - The family grave of the Wibdy family commemorating William Walter Wibdy at Nottingham Northern Cemetery Photo courtesy of Peter Gillings