204683 Pte Williss Clarence GILLOTT 1/4th + 2/5th York and Lancaster Regiment.
Willis was born on 14th January 1892 in Sheffield. He first appears in the census records in 1901 where he is shown as living at 160 Martin Street, Sheffield, the step son of Emily GILLOTT.
Willis worked in industry and gives his occupations as both Bogeyman at Lyme Mill and Steel Forge Worker.
He first attests to the services at Sheffield aged 23yrs on 9th December 1915 when he is attached to the army reserve. At this time he gives his home address as 70 Cobden View Road. He is mobilised on 10th March 1917 and posted to the 4th Batt York and Lancaster Regiment on 13th March 1917 and then to the 1/4th Batt on the 15th July 1917. There he remains until 28th June 1917 when he is transferred to the 2/5th Batt York and Lancaster Regiment and enters France on the 29th June 1917.
Willis marries at some stage as his records show him living at 114 Cundy Street, Walkley, Sheffield with wife Elsie GILLOTT.
On the 22nd July 1917 Willis is wounded in action and receives a severe gun shot wound to his left leg causing severing of the nerves. He is sent back to the UK on 10th August 1917 where he receives treatment at Newport Hospital.
He is now considered unfit for active service and is awarded the Silver War Badge for services rendered, badge number 408515. Below is an image of the type of badge he would have received.
Willis was retired from the services on medical grounds on 7th March 1918. He went back into industry with Cammell Laird & Co, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield and must have remained within an area with military implications as he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his service to the Naval Ordnance Inspection Department, Sheffield. The award appears in the 26th March 1957 edition of the London Gazette.
2 other medals that came with Willis’ group are the SHEFFIELD 26th June 1902 coronation medal and the City of Sheffield coronation celebration medal for 22nd June 1911.
Willis passed away in 1976 at the age of 84. His death is registered in Sheffield but I do not know where he lies.
‘ APPIUS FAC FORTIA ET PATERE ‘ – ‘ DO BRAVE DEEDS AND ENDURE ‘