Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
17 Sep 1915
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte William Joseph Florin, 4081, 1/5th Bedfords, died at the 16th Casualty Clearing Station, Gallipoli, on September 17th, 1915, from wounds sustained in action. He was aged 19.
Born in London and the only son of Carl and Christina Florin, still then living in Shepherds Bush, Pte Florin had come to Luton to work as a trimmer in the coach department at Vauxhall Motors, where he was employed for about seven months until the outbreak of war. He was lodging with Mr Blackhurst at 46 Langley Road [now Latimer Road], Luton, before enlisting in the 5th Bedfords with other Vauxhall employees in September 1914.
A few days before he left England he was reportedly given the opportunity of transferring from the 1/5th Battalion, but his reply was, "No, I intend to see it through".
Mr and Mrs Florin received official notification from the War Office that their son had died from wounds on September 18th. The last communication they had from the son was a postcard bearing the post date September 17th, the date on which he was reported to have died from wounds. In that he stated that he was well and safe and in the trenches again. However, it seemed that postcard had been written four days earlier than the post date.
On August 20th he wrote: "We had our first taste of firing last Saturday, and we advanced on Sunday and had a pretty hot time which resulted in a victory for us, although most of my chums are laid out. The shells are falling all around us even as I write this, but so far we have not lost many that way.
"I am at present out of action with a wound in my left leg and a dislocated ankle, but expect to be all right soon. We are giving as good as we take - with interest on our side. I went through three charges on Sunday and shall never forget some of the sights I saw. My own chums were shot down in front of my eyes, but there you expect that and, any way, things are not so bad as they might have been. It's awfully hot here, and I am getting as brown as a berry. It's almost as good as a holiday at the seaside, with a little excitement thrown in.
"We must beat them soon, but we must expect to lose a few, and it's more luck than anything else who goes first. I always was fond of gambling, but this is on a somewhat larger scale."
On August 29th Pte Florin wrote that he was not well yet and was still in hospital, but expected to rejoin his regiment. "It's not all beer and skittles, but don't suppose it's any use grumbling," he said.
Then, on September 9th, he intimated that the hospital had patched him up, and he was back with his regiment again.
"Have had a pretty rough time," he wrote, "but we have done no more serious fighting since I got hit. We are in reserve now, and look a pretty lot here as we have had no shaving or washing for a week. This will make some of us pay more attention to home if we get back."