William Allchurch was born in Stourbridge and was the son of Elijah and Mary Allchurch of 10 Stamford Road, Amblecote. In 1901 Elijah was a pit banksman and William a labourer. By 1914 William was living in Brierley Hill and he volunteered in August for the South Staffords. He joined the 1st Battalion, composed of regular soldiers, and was first involved in the 1915 second battle of Ypres. Later in that year they were heavily engaged in Artois and in 1916 on the Somme at Beaumont Hamel. Early in 1917 they followed up the German retreat to the newly built Hindenburg Line. The German defences were very strong but Sgt Allchurch was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery during a raid on the enemy line on the 7th July. A costly attack at Bullecourt followed a week later and the Staffords then transferred to Flanders for the Third Battle of Ypres. They attacked at Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood in the opening week and returned to the front line at Polygon Wood for a major attack on the 4th October. They remained in the trenches and then, in what was probably routine enemy artillery fire, William Allchurch was seriously wounded in the back on the 9th October. He was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station where he died the next day. He was 34 years of age and is buried at Godewaersvelde British Cemetery (I H 25) and commemorated on the Amblecote, Brierley Hill and Brierley Hill church Memorials.
Lye / Wollescote Cemetery, Stourbridge West Midlands, United Kingdom
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