Service Number 42305
Battalion 6th Battalion
Regiment Leicestershire Regiment
|Private||236244||Army Service Corps|
William Fletcher was listed as a resident of Collingham who was absent from the village on the 1918 electoral roll, due to his Military or Naval Service, but we are still uncertain exactly what that service was. However, we have a few intriguing glimpses.
On the 6th September 1918, the Wetherby News reported that "Pte. Wm. Fletcher of the Leicester Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs G Fletcher, Collingham, has been wounded by a bullet in the left thigh. He is now in hospital in Liverpool." This gives us some clue of his Army Service, although his service record has not survived.
William Fletcher had been born in Collingham in 1891, the son of George (a farm labourer) and his wife Sarah Fletcher. In 1911, George, Sarah and William were living in Collingham and William was also a farm labourer. We know that in 1920, William married Priscilla Hollings in Boston Spa.
Returning to William's service in the Great War - we have found that four men named William Fletcher were awarded medals for service in the Leicestershire Regiment. One of these men, Lance Sergeant William Fletcher, with a service number 7598, was Killed in Action in the war, so cannot be the Collingham man we are searching. It is likely that 'our' man is either Private 8486 William Fletcher, Private 42305 William Fletcher (previously Private R/236244 in the Army Service Corps) or Private 58802 William Fletcher. Both of the latter two men served in the 6th Battalion Leicesterhsire Regiment.
However, the recent (and on-going) digitisation of the surviving medical records from the Great War suggests that 'our' William Fletcher was Private 42305 William Fletcher of the 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. The medical record of No. 34 Casualty Clearing Station shows that Private Fletcher was admitted on 26/8/1918 with a "Gunshot Wound IX.1". This was a gunshot wound of lower extremities - a simple flesh contusion or wound. The record shows he had been brought from 1/2nd East Lancashire Field Ambulance and No 16 Ambulance Train. The date of this wounding ties in well with the Wetherby News report date. This means that 'our' William Fletcher had previously been Private R/236244 in the Army Service Corps and the medal roll for the Leicestershire Regiment shows that William was one of a consignment of ASC other ranks who were transferred at the same time to the Leicestershire Regiment.
After the war, William returned to West Yorkshire and in 1939 was living with Priscilla and their two children, George E Fletcher and Reginald Fletcher at 12 Brookside, Collingham.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
The Wetherby News 6/9/1918
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
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