image from 1917 Chronicle newspaper.
Born: 12th December 1896, Ipswich.
Died: 12th October 1917; KiA.
Residence: No. 3, Permit Office, Ipswich.
Employed: as a Sailor on a barge at Ipswich.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 200431
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion.
Formerly 2061, Suffolk Regiment.
Panel 40 to 41 & 162 to 162A.
Nephew to ALFRED WILLIS.
1901 Cox Lane, Ipswich.
William was 4 years old and living with his mother, step father & step sister.
Harry Aldolphus Saunders, 36, an Iron Foundry Labourer, born Ipswich.
Jessie Saunders (nee Siggers), 25, born Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.
Florence Ada Saunders, 2 months, born Ipswich.
1911 10, York Place, Lady Lane, Ipswich.
William was 15 years old, an Errand Boy – Milk Works. He was living with his maternal grandfather & uncle. He was recorded on the census as Saunders.
James Siggers, 63, a widow, a Boot Repairer, born Colchester, Essex.
Henry Siggers, 20, a House Painter, born Ipswich.
William’s father was William Willis born, 1874 – died 13th November 1896, Ipswich. Just 1 month before William was born.
Soldiers’ Effects to Jessie Saunders – mother.
William is also remembered on the war memorial at Christ Church, Tacket Street, Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, 8th Battalion
At 05.25am on 12 October 1917, a British attack was launched between the Ypres-Roulers railway and Houthulstforest. An hour later the 8th Battalion was moved forward in the wake of the 55th Brigade. A considerable enemy barrage and heavy machine gun fire was encountered. Shell holes were full of water and the men had to struggle to prevent themselves from drowning. Due to the very severe conditions, the advance was halted. The Battalion suffered 232 casualties.