William Shillingford was born in Wordsley and was an early volunteer for the Worcesters. He joined the 11th (Service) Battalion and after extensive training was sent to the Macedonia front with French forces to help Greece and Serbia against Germany’s ally. Bulgaria. The Worcesters in the 26th Division saw front line action in 1916 in the hills above Doiran but the outcome was continued stalemate. After the harsh winter of 1916-17 when all action ceased the Allies planned a wide attack across the front for April. This was to be preceded by the capture of Doiran by the 26th Division. The terrain was bleak – tree-filled ravines and bare stony ridges – with the Bulgarians on the neighbouring heights. The Worcesters’ task was to cross the Jumeaux Ravine and take the heights above the town. The attack was timed for 9.50 p.m. but the enemy’s unexpectedly heavy bombardment arrived first. There followed hours of bitter and confused fighting for single trenches but the outcome of the battle of Doiran was failure. Of about 500 Worcesters over 350 were casualties and Private William Shillingford was among the hundred killed in action. He is buried in Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, (B 228) and commemorated on the Wordsley Memorial.
High Street, Wordsley, West Midlands, DY8 5RU
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