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William Lewis was born in 1885 in Nottingham and was the son of Edwin Thomas Lewis a lace maker and Mary Elizabeth Spencer née Hurt of 13 Salisbury Square, Beck Street, Nottingham. His father Ediwn Thomas was born in 1863 in Loughborough and his mother Mary Elizabeth Hurst was born in Sutton on Trent in 1862, they were married in 1882 in Nottingham and went on to have 5 children all of whom were born in Nottingham , they were : - Edwin Thomas b1884, William Lewis b1885, Edith May b1891, Jack b1896 and Harold b1902. In the 1911 census the family are living at 13 Sailsbury Square, Beck Street, Nottingham, and are shown as Mary Elizabeth 50 yrs married a char woman (her husband Edwin Thomas Spencer is not shown on this census.) she is living with 4 of her children , Edwin Thomas 27 yrs an iron founder, Edith May 20 yrs a lace ripper, Jack 18 yrs an apprentice printer and Harold 9 yrs of age a scholar. In the same 1911 census we find that William Lewis has left the family home , he married his wife Edith Maltby (b1890 Nottingham) in Nottingham in 1910 and they are living at 3 Richmond Street, Sneinton, Nottingham , he is 26 years a mineral water bottler, Edith is 21 yrs and a lace hand, also at the address is a lodger Nellie Birth 16 yrs also a lace hand. William and Edith went on to have a son Lewis Spencer born 30th August 1912 in Nottingham.
04 Oct 1916
1553689 - CWGC Website
The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)
Private William Lewis Spencer enlisted in Nottingham, he served with the 11th battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Princes of Wales's Own). He landed in France on 26th August 1915 and joined the British Expeditionary Force . He was killed in action on 4th October 1916, he has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, The Somme
A letter written by William Lewis Spencer was published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 29nd June 1916 (prior to his death) it reads : - “SOLDIER AND THE SLACKERS. “Sir, — Being home on leave from the firing line I have made it my business to see round Nottingham, and I find that heaps of men have not joined the army. I should like to make an appeal to all single men to join at once and help crush the vilest enemy that has ever stepped on God's earth. It does seem hard to come home and see so many shirkers walking about not caring what becomes of those who are trying their best to crush the enemy. It would do the shirkers good to see the Tommies and hear them singing under terrible conditions. The weather is getting better and all the boys are looking forward for the young men of England to come in thousands and help them to finish this war. .Now young men of Nottingham don't disgrace the name of the city you were born in. Come at once and do your duty cheerfully and we shall win. Without your help it will be a hard struggle. I hope this letter will help to swell the ranks of the boys in khaki. — I am, sir, &c., William L. Spencer, West Yorkshires.” Article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on