For King and Country

Person Details

BERRIDGE, William Eric

Memorials

Name: Eton College WW1 High Street, Eton
NIWM Ref: 41461
RBWM Ref: WM239
Name: Kings Scholars WW1 High Street, Eton
NIWM Ref: 41565
RBWM Ref: WM205
Name: Sunningdale School Window WW1 Dry Arch Road, Sunningdale
NIWM Ref: 18743
RBWM Ref: WM278

Person Details

Place of birth: Redhill, Surrey
Gender: Male
Date of death: 20/08/1916
Place of death: Somme, France
Manner of death: Died of wounds
Age at death: 22
CWGC Ref: 270283
TWGPP Ref: 3412003
Address: 7 Radnor Park West Folkstone

Military details

Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Relatives

Father William Alfred BERRIDGE
Mother Beatrice BERRIDGE

Additional information

William was educated at Sunningdale School and was then a King's Scholar at Eton College (leaving in 1913) before going up to Oxford, where he joined the Officers’ Training Corps. At the time of his death, William’s family were living in Folkestone, Kent. His collection of WW1 poems “Verses” was published in 1916. This poem was evidently caught on a piece of wire in a communications trench 4.45 a.m. April 1916…. ''To a Rat. 'Was it for this you came into the light? Have you fulfilled Life’s mission? You are free/ For evermore from toil and misery,/Yet those who snared you, to their great delight,/Thought doubtless they were doing right/In scheming to encompass your decease,/Forgetting they were bringing you to peace/And perfect joy and everlasting night./Your course is ended here — I know not why/You seemed a loathsome, a pernicious creature;/ You couldn’t clothe us and we couldn’t eat yer,/And so we mocked your humble destiny —/Yet life was merry, was it not, oh rat?/It must have been to one so sleek and fat.''……….
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the 6th Battalion the Somerset Light Infantry, and posted to the Western Front in March 1916. During an attack on Hop Alley near Delville Wood, he was shot by a German sniper on 19th August and died of his wounds on 20th August 1916. He was buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l’Abbe, France.

Resources

Entry for William E Berridge.

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