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W Bosley


Name on Newbury War Memorial

W Bosley on Newbury War Memorial

(bottom left)

The name W Bosley appears on tablet 5 of the Newbury War Memorial.  It is not at all clear who this refers to.

William Charles Bosley from Newbury died in France in August 1918, but he is commemorated on tablet 1 of the Newbury Town Memorial.  It is, perhaps, possible that W Bosley is a second reference to this man; perhaps his name was proposed by more than one relative or friend, one omitting the second initial and hence suggesting to the War Memorial Committee that there were two W Bosleys to commemorate?

William Bosley, Royal Berkshire Regiment appeared on the long lost memorial in Speenhamland School commemorating past pupils who died in the Great War.  This could well be William Charles Bosley, he lived as a child within the area covered by the school, but he served with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, not the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Two W Bosley’s served and died with the Royal Berkshire Regiment:

William Bosley was born in Didcot in 1896 and lived with his parents in the Didcot area. There is no evident connection with the Newbury area, indeed his younger siblings were born in Didcot in the years when he would have been at school – so it is very unlikely that he attended Speenhamland School. He died in April 1918 and is remembered on the Pozières Memorial north of Albert in the Somme.

Harry William Bosley was from Reading (he is remembered on the war memorial at St Peter’s, Earley); he died in August 1915, three months after arriving in France. He is buried in Vielle-Chappelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture. Once again there is no evident link with Newbury and little prospect of his attending Speenhamland School. However, the family originated in Bucklebury, close to Newbury.

If W Bosley is not a second reference to W C Bosley, then either of the above Royal Berks soldiers is a possible explanation - on the assumption that a family member settled in Newbury and put their name forward for inclusion on the memorial.  The same explanation could apply the 10 other W Bosleys who are recorded in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission register of the casualties of World War 1 – though all are associated with more distant addresses.

Perhaps when the 1921 census becomes available to public inspection such a relation may be identified.  Until that time or some other information comes to light the identity of W Bosley will remain a mystery.

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 Died this day:
03 December 1918
George Hamblin

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