There is no evidence that William ever lived in Wymeswold; he was born in Sneinton, part of Nottingham. However, his stepmother’s family came from the village, and they were connected to the Morris family – and through them, to much of Wymeswold society. The fact that William was in the West Yorkshire regiment rather than a local unit is not unusual – Wilfrid Brookes was in the same regiment. He may have joined up in late 1914 or early 1915, but his service record has not survived. Soldiers Died in the Great War says that he enlisted in Harrogate, and we know that he married there in March 1915, so perhaps he had been there for some time.
The West Yorkshires had seen some of the heaviest fighting of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and on 7thOctober they were told to attack the trenches around Le Sars, a small village between Albert to the south and Bapaume to the north. William’s battalion suffered 217 casualties that day. William was almost certainly one of the wounded, because he was evacuated to the nearby Casualty Clearing Station at Dernancourt, but died there the next day, and is buried in Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension.
The reason he appears on the Wymeswold Roll of Honour is that his sister and father moved to Wymeswold at some point. William senior ‘Billy Dykes’ was well known as the village road man.