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Person Details
Bulwell Nottingham
William was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hemsley. Thomas and Elizabeth had ten children of whom only eight were still living at the time of the 1911 census; William, Thomas, Emma, Warren, Harry, Hilda, Clara and George. The family was living at 10 Turton Street, Bulwell, when William joined the Grenadier Guards in 1906. According to William's service record his brother Thomas was serving in the Notts and Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) at the time William enlisted. By the time of the 1911 census William's parents were living at 172 North Gate, New Basford, Nottingham. His father was a labourer in a bleaching works. Only six of Thomas and Elizabeth's children were in the household on the night of the census; Emma (19), Warren (16), Harry (11), Hilda (9), Clara (4) and George (1). The same year William (24), who had joined the Army Reserve in 1909 on completion of his period of engagement, was a police constable. He was a boarder in the household of John William Brunt and his wife Carrie at 20 Welbeck Street, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. John and Carrie had two children, Elsie (12) and Willie (11) and also had another boarder, James Acker (30), an insurance agent. William married Hilda Cooper, a spinster, at Hyson Green Parish church, Nottingham, on 28 December 1913. Their daughter, Lillie Maud, was born the following year on 20 August 1914. In 1920 when Hilda completed a form giving the names of William's surviving blood relatives she was living with her daughter at 67 Parliament Street, Nottingham, although the family had lived previously on Chatsworth Road, Nottingham. At this time, William's parents and his siblings with the exception of Emma were living at 166 North Gate, New Basford. Emma was married (Roper) and living at 7 Plimsoll Street, Hyson Green, Nottingham.
He was an engine cleaner when he attested in the Grenadier Guards on 31 July 1906. He served for three years before transferring to the Army Reserve on 31 July 1909. In 1911 he was a police constable and may well have joined the Police on leaving the army in 1909. He was mobilized on the outbreak of war.
08 Oct 1915
731658 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Nottingham in 1906.
Lance Corporal
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards
William attested on 31 July 1906 at the age of 19 years 10 months, and joined the Grenadier Guards in London on 2 August 1906. He served at home for three years before transferring to the Army Reserve on 31 July 1909 on the expiration of his period of his army service. He was mobilised on the outbreak of war and appointed lance corporal on 7 December 1914. He served at home until joining the British Expeditionary Force in France on 26 July 1915. He was reported missing on 8 October 1915 and his death was confirmed the following year. He served a total of 9 years 70 days; home service 8 years 360 days (including time in the Army Reserve) and 75 days overseas. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial (Panels 5&7). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 16 October 1916: ‘Hemsley. Reported missing October 8th 1915, now reported killed October 1916, Corporal (sic) William Hemsley, Grenadier Guards, late 15 Chatsworth Avenue, Nottingham Road. Wife Hilda and baby.’ William's service record confirms that his death was not confirmed until October 1916. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow, Hilda, was his sole legatee. In June 1916 his widow was awarded a pension of 15 shillings a week.
Remembered on