Rank or Title
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Gunner William Childs, 28795, 86th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, died of enteric fever while a prisoner of war of the Turks on January 19th, 1917. He was aged 27 and had served in the Army in India for eight years prior to the outbreak of war.
It was four months before official notification reached his mother Lucy at 32 Dorset Street, Luton, that William had died in captivity at Angora [now Ankara] in Turkey. William had been with General Charles Townshend's ill-fated force that advanced on Baghdad at a high cost in men and ended in retreat and near starvation and finally surrender at Kut-al-Amara in what is now Iraq.
William was the son of William and Lucy Childs who married in 1889. Retired hat manufacturer William died in 1894 and Lucy remarried in 1896, her new husband being Thomas Mead, who died in 1914.
Two brothers and a step-brother were also serving in the forces at the time of William's death. Tom Childs (R.G.A.) was in France after serving in Ceylon, Joe Childs (Middlesex Regt) had seen service in Salonica but was in hospital in Malta suffering from malarial fever, and 17-year-old step-brother Percy Mead (Beds Regiment) had seen four months service in France. All four had worked at Messrs Brown & Green's foundry before enlistment.