William Whittaker (c.1882-1914)

An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

WHITTAKER, WILLIAM. Private. No 6662. 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Clayton West near Huddersfield. Lived Clayton West. Killed in action on 11.11.1914 during the 1st Battle of Ypres. Has no known grave. Commemorated MENIN GATE MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING. The following extract is taken from the diary of Colonel E. G. Harrison (who was in command of the 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment at the time), 'Wednesday 11th November. – Exceptionally heavy shelling started 7am, practically all shrapnel, covering the whole position from the firing line to the reserves, continuing the bombardment till 8am when it abated. At this time a message came to me by an orderly from Lieut. R. O. D. Carey, saying, 'Am very hard pressed but will hang on as long as possible.' I then advanced with the remainder of my force. We found the Germans had advanced past the Veldhoek Chateau, but we managed to repulse them, gaining back the ground, being nearly as far as our old firing line, which Lieut. R.O.D. Carey, with D Company, had been driven out of. We could have actually regained these trenches if the troops on the right and left of us had been up, but in this position behind a small rise in the ground our right rested on the Ypres-Menin Road, the next troops being about 300 yards in rear on the south side of the road. On our left a company of the Zouaves occupied a position between us and the next British troops on our left, but immediately after the advance, in which they materially assisted, they vacated the position, thus leaving both our flanks exposed. At 10am I sent back a message saying I could retake my original trenches if I had another Company in support, but got no reply until 3pm. I also sent two more messages, which, however, were never received. By this time we had dug ourselves in under a small bank some 60 yards from the Germans, who were occupying our old trenches. Our losses during the day were 8 officers and about 300 men.
ROH:- Clayton West and High Hoyland War Memorial.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission