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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking Slate's grave at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais,France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
5 Mitchell Street Radford Nottingham
William Arthur Slate was born in 1895 he was the son of Samuel, a compositor, and Thirza Slate née Poxon and the brother of Daisy, Edith, Lucy, Albert Henry and Jane Slate. Samuel and Thirza Poxon were both born in 1867 at Nottingham, they were married in 1888 at Nottingham and went on to have 7 children, sadly 1 died in infancy or early childhood. In 1911 they lived at of 20 Independent Street Radford and later 43 Bloomsgrove Street (both New Radford Nottingham.
In 1911 he was a grocers shop boy.
10 Apr 1917
20
41248 - CWGC Website
R/4667
Rifleman
9th Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Rifleman William Slate enlisted on 11th September 1914 at Nottingham, giving his age as 19 yrs and 37 days, he was a packer. Posted to the King's Royal Rifles he landed in France on 23rd July 1915. He was wounded in action on 4th September 1916, a gun shot wound to his left shoulder. He was returned to England on on 10th September 1916. Following his recovery he embarked from Southampton on 9th December 1916 landing the following day at Le Harve. He was again wounded in action on on 9th April 1917 a gun shot wound to his leg which was amputated, he died from his wounds on 10th April 1917 at the 19th casualty clearing station. He served on the Western Front in France and took part in and died from wounds sustained at the Battle of Arras. He died only one day into the offensive, which began on April 9, 1917. On that day, the 9th Battalion attacked what was known as the String of the Harp trench system. In the 39 days that the battle lasted the average casualty rate was far higher than at either the Somme or Passchendaele, and it was described as the most savage infantry battle of the war. Casualties were caused by uncut wire and heavy machine gun fire, such a stark contrast to William's early days as a shop boy. Experimental tactics such as the creeping barrage, the graze fuze, and counter-battery fire were used and the Battalion was successful in securing its target. Yet six officers were killed and 204 died from other ranks, including William. He is buried in the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 17 May 1917: 'Rifleman W Slate (King's Royal Rifles), Independent Street, Radford, died of wounds, April 10th, age 20.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking Slate's grave at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais,France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    William Arthur Slate - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking Slate's grave at Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Pas de Calais,France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle