12/562 Company Sergeant Major William Henry LOXLEY K.I.A. 1st July 1916 at the battle of the Somme whilst serving with ‘B’ Company 12th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, the Sheffield Pals.
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I do not know the whereabouts of the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
William Henry LOXLEY was born at St Georges, Sheffield in 1876. In 1905 he married Florence Ada BURROWS and the 1911 census shows them living at 160 Loxley Road, Malin Bridge, Sheffield. At this time they have a son Harry aged 3 born 4th February 2008. Another son Ronald Loxley was born 9th September 1915.
On the 17th October 1914 William attested at Sheffield joining the ranks of the Sheffield Pals battalion, the 12th York and Lancaster Regiment. At this time he was 38 years old and had been employed as a postman.
Willian Henry LOXLEY seated bottom row farthest right.
William had already seen service with the army during the Boer War as 9905 Sgt LOXLEY Kings Royal Rifle Corps entitling him to the Queens South Africa medal with clasps South Africa 1901 and 1902.
This previous military experience no doubt accounted for his swift rise to the appointment of Company Sergeant Major on 9th January 1915 with the 12th York Lancs.
The battalion embarked SS NESTOR at Devonport 20th December 1915 arriving and disembarking at Alexandria, Egypt on 1st January 1916. The Battalion embarked the HMT Briton on 10th March 1916 and the following morning set sail for France.
On the 16th March 1916 the battalion entrained at Marseilles heading for the North Western theatre of the war in France.
On the morning of 1st July 1916 William was in the second wave of men to go over the top during the attack on Serre. Having witnessed the horror of the 1st waves demise this cannot have been a pleasant prospect and is testament to the bravery and discipline of those men. William fell and was initially reported missing but later confirmed dead. He now lies in the Railway Hollow Cemetery, Hebuterne, France.
William is also remembered on the Postal Workers Memorial located within the CO-OP Castle Square, Sheffield.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.