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Person Details
St Ann's Nottingham
William was born in 1891, the fourth surviving son of John Champion and his wife Annie née Askew. John Champion senior was born in Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire, and his wife Annie in 1859 in Oakham, Rutland. Their marriage was registered in the Nottingham registration district in 1882 (September quarter) and they were to have 11 children although three died in infancy or childhood before 1911. Their surviving eight children were: John (b. 1883), Fanny (b. 1884), Thomas (b. 1887), Walter (b. 1889), William (b. 1891), Raymond (b. 1898), Rose (b. 1901) and Albert (b. 1905). All the children were born in St Ann’s, Nottingham. In 1901 the family home was at 12 Rushworth Avenue, St Ann’s but by 1911 John, a gasworks labourer, and Annie were living at 6 Calcutta Street, St Ann’s. At home on the night of the census were their three youngest children; Raymond (13) and Rose (10), who were both at school, and Albert (6). Also in the household were their married daughter, Fanny, her husband Henry Middleton, an engine driver, and their son John Henry. John, the eldest son, had joined the Royal Field Artillery (102 Battery) in 1902 and having extended his period of service to eight years was discharged to the Army Reserve on 16 June 1910. He served initially as a driver and later as a shoeing smith and served in South Africa from 21 February 1905 to 5 April 1910. On John’s return to England he married Fanny Adcock, a widow, in the Nottingham Register Office on 23 June 1910. In 1911 John was a shop keeper and living at 34 Hawkridge Gardens, Nottingham, with his wife and stepson George Adcock (10). Also in the household was John’s younger brother, William (20), a brass bobbin winder. John was discharged from the Army Reserve on 30 June 1914 and according to his service record his address on discharge was 6 Calcutta Street, Nottingham, his parent’s home. His record was annotated that he intended emigrating to Canada and no further trace has yet been found of either John or his family. William’s older brother Thomas had joined the Grenadier Guards in August 1905 transferring to the Army Reserve in August 1908. He married Grace Alice Sturtivant in St Anns on 14 May 1910 and they had three children; Thomas Albert (born 22 April 1911), Arthur (born 23 April 1915 and Grace A (born 1919). All the children were born in Nottingham. Walter, the third son, joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1906 serving first in Malta and then India. He returned to England in 1913 and was discharged to the Army Reserve on 1 March 1914. He married Harriet Ellen Baxter on 8 June 1914 at the Nottingham Register Office, and they had one daughter, Edna Rachel, born 3 October 1914. The Great War brought tragedy to the Champion family when three of the brothers, Walter, William and Raymond, who served the Colours made the ‘supreme sacrifice’ while a fourth brother, Thomas King, died shortly after being discharged from the Army. Walter was mobilised on the outbreak of war and rejoined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, serving with the BEF. He was killed near Gheluvelt on 3 November 1914. Raymond, who served with the Royal Scots regiment, died of wounds on 19 October 1917 just five months after William’s death in May 1917. Raymond had enlisted under age (16 years 11 months) in April 1915; wounded on 30 September 1917 he was evacuated to England on 2 October 1917 and transferred to Keighley War Hospital where he died 17 days later. Their older brother, Thomas King, was discharged from the Grenadier Guards on 5 March 1919 having served throughout the war, but died on 25 June the same year aged 31.
In 1911 he was a brass bobbin winder.
01 May 1917
1543028 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
William enlisted in Nottingham and at first served with the Sherwood Foresters Regiment (2554) but later transferred to the 24th Company of the Machine Guns Corps. He was killed in action on 1 May 1917 and has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Nottingham Evening Post, 4th June 1917:- CHAMPION. – Killed in action, May 1st, 1917, Lance-Corpl. William Champion, M. G. Corps, 6, Calcutta-street. He died for us all. – Sorrowing mother, dad, sister Rose, and brothers. Nottingham Evening Post, 4th June 1917:- “CHAMPION. – Killed in action, May 1st, 1917, Lance-Corpl. William Champion, M. G. Corps, aged 27. A noble life laid down. – From sorrowing sister... and husband, Fanny and Harry Middleton, late Calcutta-street; also sister-in-law, Nellie Champion.” Above items courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 'In Memoriam', Nottingham Evening Post. 18th October 1919:- “CHAMPION. – In ever-loving memory of our dear sons and brother, Pte. Raymond Champion, died of wounds October 19th, 1917; Lce.-Cpl. William (Billy), M.G.C., killed in action May 1st, 1917; Rfmn. Walter, K.R.R., died of wounds November 3rd, 1914; Thomas, died in hospital June 26th, 1919. Ever in our thoughts. – From mother, dad, sister Rose, and brother Albert. 'In Memoriam', Nottingham Evening Post. 18th October 1919:-“CHAMPION. – In loving memory of my dear brother, Raymond, died of wounds, October 19th, 1917. Silently mourned. – From sister Fanny and brother-in-law Harry and family.” Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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