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Tracing Your Roots To Gallipoli

Remembering some of the Bolton men who lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915

William Henry Lancaster

William Henry LancasterBolton Journal and Guardian 17 September 1915

Boltonian with Australians Killed

Mr, and Mrs. Lancaster, 4, Blackwood-St., Great Lever, have received intimation that their son Pte. W. H. Lancaster,was killed in the Dardanelles during the fighting from August 7th to 18th. Pte Lancaster was only 19 years of age. In Bolton he was employed at the mill of Messrs. Thomas Taylor Ltd., Saville-st. He went out to work on a farm in Australia in June last year, and enlisted in the Colonial infantry in February, being in the third battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade. He spent a short time in Egypt, and had been in the fighting for about four months. In his letters home he spoke very cheerily, and mentioned in one that he hoped to be in Bolton for his Christmas dinner. He also wrote: “Since I arrived I have met a good many Bolton lads, so I am not without some of my old pals.”

3rd Battalion Unit Diary - 7 August 1915 - Lone Pine

We held our position against continuous bombing at which the enemy appear
to be very expert. Our casualties were heavy and we confidently expect from
results of observation that theirs were the same. About 70 prisoners and two
machine guns were captured the previous night one of which is in action
against the enemy. Both our own M/guns were put out of action during the
day by enemy M/gun on Johnston’s Jolly. A strong counter attack was
launched by the enemy on our front during the night. Bombing which has
been much neglected in our training is the thing required most. Our men
however demonstrated their ability to use bombs successfully and our trained
men were as good as those of the enemy.

The day was spent in holding our front against bombs and consolidating the
line. A further 30 yards of trench was taken with this object about 1800 and
prepared for defence. We had no trouble here during night 7/8th inst. Col
E. S. Brown was killed and Major D. M. McConaghy assumed command.

William was the son of George Lancaster b.1857, a hawker, and Charlotte Lancaster née Ainsworth b.1847.

Charlotte been previously married to someone named Jones.

William's father had moved to the USA as a weaver. He married Charlotte in Lowell, Massachusetts, where both their children were born, but the family had returned to England in December 1899.

William appeared on the 1911 census living at 152 Blackhorse Street, Bolton with his parents and sister Alice b.1894. Alice was employed in a bleachworks and William was a cotton weaver.

William's medical examination on enlistment recorded him as being 5' 3 7/8" tall, weighing 8 st 7 lbs with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair.



Name Lancaster, William Henry
Rank Private
Number 1765
Unit 3rd Bn
Australian Imperial Force
Born Lowall, Massachusetts, USA
Enlisted Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
28 January 1915
Died Gallipoli, Turkey
August 1915
Age 19
Grave or Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery,
Gallipoli, Turkey
Australian Imperial Force