William George Royal
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About William George

  • Name
    William George
  • Initials
    W G
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    8 January 1878
  • Birth town
    Battersea, London
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Civilian

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Suffolk Regiment


William George Royal was born in Battersea in 1878.  His father William had moved from Wisbech to marry Ada Emma Wildman in 1876 and had settled in Battersea, London.  His mother died when he was aged ten and by 1891 he was living with his paternal grandparents in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

At 18, William married Amelia Earl in Wisbech and soon after they had first of eight children.  He enlisted in to the Cambrigeshire Militia on 8 March 1898, for a period of six years, joining the 4th Suffolk Regiment.  For whatever reason when joining William stated that he was single with no children.  In 1901, he was living at 22 Canal Row, Wisbech St Peter with Amelia and two children and by 1904, he re-signed for a further six years with the militia.  However, in January 1906 he was convicted of theft, (two parcels one containing groceries, the other fish), and sentenced to two months hard labour and consequently, he was discharged from the militia.

By 1911, the family had grown to eight children and they lived at 3 Middle Lane, Horsefair, Wisbech.  On 14 August 1914, he signed up with the 3rd Suffolk Regiment, joining the British Expeditionary Force in France on 07 October 1914.  He was hospitalised twice in the following two months with illness and was returned to the UK on light duties early in December 1914.  He was eventually discharged in August 1916 on ill health grounds suffering from frostbite and rheumatism (osteoarthritis) in his joints.

Although we have all William’s details and can trace his family and military history, we do not know why he was passing through Peterborough East Station on the 24 February 1917.  As far as his discharge and 1914 short service attestation papers and records are concerned, his military career ended on the 29 August 1916, when he was discharged from the 3rd Battalion of the Suffolk regiment as he was no longer physically fit for service.  He wrote in the visitors’ book “Just a memo. to the kindness in Reference of the Ladyes in this Estm during my stay on the 24/2/17 W.G Royal X 9087 2nd Suffolk Reg”.  The ‘X’ in front of his military details, rather than a rank suggests that he had previously served.  He was awarded the British War and Allied Victory medals and Silver War Badge.

William died in Wisbech in 1928 aged 51, and his wife Amelia died aged 69 in 1946, still in Wisbech.

Do you recognise William’s story?  Please get in touch if you can tell us more.

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