Private William James Atterbury

Date of Birth 7 October 1888
Age at Death 26
Date of Death 24 November 1914
Service Number 9583
Military Service East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born in Carshalton on 7th October 1888, William was the eldest son of William George and Mary Ann Elizabeth Atterbury. His father was born and baptised in Mitcham in 1863. His mother (nee Wright) had been born in Sutton in 1866. In 1901 he lived with his parents, sisters Florence (11) and Edith (9) and his brother George (7) at 196 Lower Green East in Mitcham. His father was a builder’s labourer and his mother was a charwoman. By 1911 the family were living at 1 Spencer Terrace, Spencer Road, Mitcham Common. Both William’s father and his younger brother George were employed in one of Mitcham’s chemical works and his sister Florence was working as “wardmaid” at the Tooting Asylum, but William had already left home. He had enlisted in the army on 5th June 1908 and by 1911 he was a private in the Leicestershire Regiment and was living in barracks at Aldershot.

On the outbreak of war William was serving in the First Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. According to de Ruvigny’s roll of honour he embarked for France on 7th October 1914, his twenty-sixth birthday. A week later the battalion’s war diary records the arrival of a draft of men – 3 officers and an unspecified number of other ranks – which probably included William Atterbury.

The following few weeks saw heavy engagement by the Battalion. The casualty list of the November War Diary states William Atterbury was killed in action on 23rd November. Although his rank at the time of his death was that of a private, the war diary records that he had by then been appointed a Lance Corporal. It should be noted that Lance-Corporal was an appointment rather than a substantive (permanent) rank.

Lance-Corporal Atterbury is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial Panel 34. The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders, which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. He is also remembered on the Mitcham War Memorial.

At the time of William’s death his parents and other family members were living at 3 Spencer Terrace, Spencer Road, Mitcham Common.


* Required field