Biography of Private William Stanley Lynn (11891)
8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 2nd February 1918
- Name: William Stanley Lynn
Date of birth: 1896
Place of Birth: Edenham, Lincolnshire, England
Date of Birth Registration: April – June 1896
Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Name: Thomas Lynn
- DOB: 1866
- Place of Birth: Newton, Lincolnshire, England
- Occupation: Blacksmith
- Name: Mary Bates
- DOB: 1856
- Place Of Birth: Aslackby, Lincolnshire, England
- Marriage: 1894 Bourne District
- Ernest Tom Bates, 1885, Leeds (Half brother)
- Kate Lynn, 1892, Aslackby
- John Gibson Lynn, 1895, Sibsey
- William Stanley Lynn 1896, Edenham
- Edwin Harry Lynn, 1897, Edenham
- Thomas Walter Lynn, Edenham
- 1901: William is living with his parents in Back Lane, Edenham, Lincolnshire.
- 1911: William is living with his parents in Edenham, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 14 and he is listed as a farm labourer.
- No marriage for William has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 9th February 1918
- LYNN – In loving memory of William Stanley Lynn, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Lynn, Edenham, late of the Lincolnshire Regiment, who died on February 2nd, of disease contracted on active service in France, aged 21 years.
- Grantham Journal Staurday 1st February 1919
- IN MEMORIAM
- LYNN – In ever-loving memory of William Stanley Lynn, late of the 8th Lincolnshire Regiment, died February 2nd, 1918.
- Day by day we all do miss him
- Words would fail our loss to tell;
- But in Heaven we hop to meet him,
- Evermore with him to dwell.
- From his loving MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER and BROTHERS (Edenham)
- Grantham Journal Saturday 31st January 1920
- IN MEMORIAM
- LYNN – In loving memory of our two dear boys, William Stanley Lynn, who died February 2nd 1918 and Thomas Walter Lynn, who was reported missing on September 28th 1918 and since presumed dead, somewhere in France.
- Ever in our thoughts
- From their loving
- MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER and BROTHERS (Edenham)
- None found
- None found
- The British Medal
The Victory Medal
The 15 Star
- Edenham, Roll of Honour in Edenham St Michael and all Angels Church
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
- In memory of Private William Stanley Lynn, 11891, 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 2 February 1918 Age 21
Son of Thomas Lynn of Edenham, Lincolnshire
Remembered with honour, Edenham (St. Michael and All Saints) Churchyard
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
Military Service Timeline
Today we remember the anniversary of the sad death of William Stanley Lynn of Edenham, who died on the 2nd February 1918, after being discharged from serving with the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
William was born in May of 1896 in Edenham to Thomas Lynn, a blacksmith, originally from Newton on Trent and his wife Mary Bates of Aslackby. Thomas and Mary were married in 1894. Mary already had a son, Ernest Tom Bates, who was born in 1885.
Thomas and Mary probably started their married life in Aslackby where their first Daughter Kate was born in 1892. Their second child, a son named Joe Gibson Lynn, was born in Sibsey in 1895. the family eventually settled in Edenham and their final three sons were all born here.
William Stanley Lynn, 1896,
Edwin Harry Lynn, 1897
Thomas Walter Lynn, 1899.
In 1901 the family were living on back Lane in Edenham, Thomas having his own blacksmith’s business. By 1911 William has found employment as a farm labourer, the family still living in Edenham.
On the 2nd September 1914 William enlisted into the Army in Bourne and joined the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire regiment.
In September 1914 a few local Edenham lads decided that they were to do their duty and all signed to enlist in the Army. William Lynn and Robert Armstrong were posted to the 8th Lincolns a new battalion that had been established on the 15th September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army (K3).
The Battalion trained at Grimsby during August 1914, and then in November moved to Halton Park near Tring for training as part of the 21st Brigade of the 21st Division and then moved to Leighton Buzzard.
In the spring of 1915 the Battalion moved back to Halton Park Camp, Wendover and miniature rifle practice commenced. After completing the musketry course and a Review by Lord Kitchener, the Battalion moved to Witley Camp North, marching past His Majesty the King and Lord Kitchener, 12 August 1915.
All the Battalion commanders had been in retirement at the outbreak of war. Of the 21st Division in which the 8th Lincolnshire were attached only 14 officers had any previous experience in the Regular army.
We take up William’s story from the reports of the Battalion Diary of leaving England to their first tour of the trenches.
10-09-1915 – Whitley Camp
7.10pm Battalion under the command of Lt Col H E Walter left camp at 6pm and entrained at Milford Station. Journeyed via Folkestone to Boulogne; in rest camp for 1 day; Officers 28 + 2 personnel, 923 other ranks.
11-9-15 – Boulogne
Entrained at Pont des Bargues St for Watten; Billeted at Bayenghem Les Eperlecques.
13-9-15 – Bayenghem
Captains Preston. Harrison + Lieuts Parker, Brown + Rowcroft spend 24 hours in the trenches of the 2nd Corps. The first two machine gun sections under Lieut R G Cordiner were attached to 63rd Brigade Headquarters M G Detachment.
2nd Lieut Cragg and Sgts Cummins + Wood attended a 4 day course of instruction at M.G. School at Wisques. (a point of interest is that 2nd Lt Cragg was from Threekingham and is also commemorated on our web site)
During stay at Bayenghem the Battalion Participated in Brigade and Divisional exercises and were also practiced in bombing and the use of the new pattern respirator.
20-9-15 – Racquinghem
7pm Battalion left Bayenghem and bivouacked one night at Racquinghem.
21-9-15 – Norrent
8.45pm Battalion left Racquinghem and billeted at Norrent
22-9-15 – Cauchy-a-la-Tour
6.30pm Battalion left Norrent and billeted at Cauchy-a-la-tour. Battalion addressed by Brigadier General N Nickalls comanding 63rd Brigade.
24-9-15 – Fours-a-chaux
7.30pm Battalion left Casauchy-a-la-Tour and bivouacked at Fours-a-Chaux 1 1/2 miles from Noeux-Les-Mines.
10.30am Battalion with 8th Bn Somerset L I was warned for the firing line.
2.30-pm Verrmelles reached; under artillery fire.
7.10pm Battalion moved into position forming part of relieving force to the 15th Division: 24th Division was on our left and the 8th Somerset Light Infantry on our right.
28-9-15 – Vermelles
8.15pm Owing to casualties in officers Capt H Pattinson became acting commander of the Battalion; acting 2nd in command Capt J T Preston; acting adjutant Lieut Brown.
Battalion left Vermelles and proceeded by road and rail to Linghem.
29-9-15 – Linghem
9am Strength 6 officers + 3 personnel, Other Ranks 522.
As can be seen from the two at strength reports the Battalion lost 22 officers and 401 other ranks during their first engagements of the 25th – 27th during the Battle of Loos.
A report submitted as appendix 1 in the battalion diary explains those days.
On the night of the 25th September our Battalion left the road leading to Loos and formed lines of platoons in fours. After a short advance we halted for three hours. We then advanced in echelon formation over the trenches. After advancing for about three hours, in short stages, we halted for a short time and then moved in the direction of Hill 70.
We dug ourselves in during the night. It was now daybreak.
Major storer came to us and said “All is well’. The advance will commence at 11am. In the meantime we were under heavy shell and rifle fire. We then advanced meeting great numbers of the enemy. A short retirement took place the Battalion making a new line of men composed of various units about 400 x in rear of of pour first position.
We again advanced under the comm and of the nearest officer. By this time a great number of our officers had become casualties.
The men continued to fight with the units to which they had become attached.
On the 27th The Regiment was relieved by a unit of guards.
During this battle an immediate gain was overturned and the highly inexperienced Battalion Suffered tremendous losses
It was at the Battle of Loos that although William Lynn and Robert Armstrong escaped unscathed, fellow Edenham lad Private Fred smith was posted as missing and Private J Botherway was wounded. Another local lad Robert Wyer is believed to be another casualty of this action’s 401 wounded. We can see from the Battalion Diary that with their reduced fighting strength they did not go back into the front line in October.
On the 26th October the battalion returned to the front and were posted to billets in Armentieres where they spent the remainder of the month in support working on trench defences.
From the 3rd November the Battalion was split into two halves and each half took time in the trenches for instruction, the initial Half battalion relieved by the second half and so on until the end of the 8th – 10th November when they took up positions in he trenches once more as a fighting battalion.
The rest of November would see the battalion take tours of the trenches as was now regular patterns for front line troops. 4 days in the front line, 4 in the reserve and then returned to billets for the same period, thus rotating the tours.
The same rotation would be the norm for December with the Battalion spending their first Christmas Day at the front in Billets in their 4 days out of the trenches. During this winter period the Battalion would nearly suffer more casualties from the shelling of billers as they would from front line trench action.
The next major offensive for the Battalion was during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Their story of the Somme is best told from the Battalion Diary: –
20.6.16 – Meaute
Battalion relieved in right sector by 12th Northumberland Fusiliers and marched to rest Le Neuville halting at Ville for Lunch.
At 9.30pm Commanding officer went to conference at Brigade.
21.6.16 – La Neuville
Battalion in rest billets. Refitting and making up deficiencies. Training carried out. Commanding officer met officers of Battalion in conference.
22.6.16 – La Neuville
Battalion in rest billets. Commanding officer went to conference at Brigade HQ
23.6.16 – La Neuville
Battalion in rest billets. Practice over trenches carried. Commanding officer went to conference at Brigade HQ.
24.06.16 – La Neuville
Battalion took place in Brigade attack over trenches. Brigade sports. Battalion had best average and aggregate of points in Brigade.
25.6.16 – La Neuville
Battalion inspected by Divisional Commander Major General D.J.M. Campbell, Brigadier General E.R. Hill commanding 68th Infantry Brigade present.
Battalion in billets. Training carried out
Battalion left La Neuville for Ville 9pm. Arrived in Ville 1.30am. Battalion in billets.
9.15 Battalion left Ville for the trenches – Being Battalion in support to 8th Somerset Light Infantry, left sector.
1.7.16 to 4.7.16 – Trenches Fricourt
Battalion in attack in support of 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.
Report upon operations and attack see Appendix X by Comanding Officer Lt Col R.H. Johnston D.S.O. Report upon medical arrangements during the attack by Captain H.D. Smart R.A.M.C
Killed – 2nd Lts J.F. Cragg (see Threekingham memorial) W. Swift (see Morton Memorial) R.L. Constice J.H. Parkinson
Missing – (Believed died of wounds) Captain A.C. Jones
Wounded – Captain R.G Cordiner Lt (Temporary Captain) S.R. Devonshire Lt G.G. Lafferty Lt M.G. Rowcroft, 2Lt J.S. Boadle, W.J. Howard, E.G. Mitchell
Other Ranks Killed 30, Wounded 197, Missing 12, Total O.R. Casualties 239
Battalion relieved in the trenches and rested at Dernancourt where it entrained for Ailly sur Somme and marched to Vaux-en-Amienois
5.7.16 – 6.7.16 – Vaux
Battalion rested in billets
Battalion marched to Talmas and billeted there. 63rd Brigade transferred to 37th Division.
In reply to your No 6783 of 4th July.
“D” Company was detailed to advance behind 8th Somersets and clear out German Trenches. This they did. “B” Company coming up into position in their place.
The advance of the remainder of Battalion was timed to start at 8.30am. At 8.20am I received message from Brigade not to start till ordered.
I was unable to stop the leading platoons of A & B companies in time. The remainder I stopped; & telephones to Brigade for instructions. Receiving orders to advance with the Battalion I started the remainder of the leading Companies and got messages back to our rear line on Marischal Street.
I advanced to point X27.C.4.9. The advance was progressing on the left. There was a good deal of rifle & machine gun fire here. There were some men of all Battalions in 63rd Brigade & of 2 Battalions of 64th Brigade. I sent parties down Dart Lane to the right with bombing squad, and strung out the rest to the left along Brandt Trench, telling them to get up to the Sunken Road.
Men were meantime getting forward of Lozenge Alley, up which I advanced trying to find out the situation on the right.
I could not see any advance here. It was therefore necessary to watch our right flank. I pushed up men to Lozenge Wood and along Sunken Road, & in left (North) portion of Crucifix Trench. Those advancing up Lozenge Alley meeting Germans coming from Fricourt Farm. The Germans made 2 bombing attacks up Lonely Trench, both of which were replused. Though at one time the Germans got a few men into Lozenge Alley here. They used rifle grenades as well as bombs and so could out distance our bombers until we got up rifle grenades. The Germans left at least 20 dead in Lonely Trench close up to Lozenge Alley and some in Lozenge Alley.
I asked also for Stokes guns to repel these bombing attacks but all were out of action until later, when we got four Stokes guns to help us, but the bombing attacks were not repeated.
We then received orders to hold the trenches we were in; and consolidated Lozenge Alley as our right flank with bombing posts up Lonely Trench and Lozenge Alley and joining up with 64th Brigade along Sunken Road.
During the night our artillery barrage prevented any counter attack from fricourt Wood.
In the morning our patrols reconnoitred Lonely Trench to Red Cottage and Lozenge Alley to Fricourt Farm and found all clear.
We saw the attack advance through Fricourt Wood and occupy Fricourt Farm and Crucifix Trench.
As our right flank was then secure, prepared Lozenge Alley for defence facing North in case of emergency owing to the firing we heard between La Boiselle and Sausage Redoubt. This trench was made quite strong, being worked on until we got our orders to move – meantime we had to pass up all our S.A.A reserve. Rifle Grenades and Stokes Mortar ammunition to 62nd Brigade & our hand grenades & a squad of bombsers were sent up to 62nd Brigade together with supplies from the rear.
We then received orders to move to Patch Alley facing north with out right on Sunken Road. Arriving there we continued work of preparing the trench for defence; until we were relieved about 2am on the 4th, when we marched to Dernacourt.
R.H. Johnstone Lt Col
commanding 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
The Battalion would go on to see action in Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Fleurs-Courcelette, Morval, Gaudecourt, Transloy Ridge and eventually in November the Battle of The Ancre.
1917 saw the Battalion in action in the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and were fighting in the battles around Arras.
When the retreat started the 21st Division were at Halloy spending a period out of the line in training exercises.
On the first of April the Battalion attended a voluntary Church Parade at Neuville Au Cornet before the following day being route marched to Denier for an attack on a trench system. Over the next days the Battalion moved to Avesnes-le-Conte, Givenchy-le-Noble, Lattre St Quentin before arriving at Duisans to withdraw equipment ready for their move onto the assembly area at Arras.
The Battalion entered the Battle of Arras at Battery Valley on the 9th April 1917 at 4pm digging in until 8pm. The 8th Battalion Diary recalls their actions.
10/4/17 Battalion attacked, commanded by Major Greatwood
The Battalion moved east and halted around midnight. At daybreak considerable enemy activity was observed round Monchy-le-Preux, also enemy troops and transport moving north east from Roeux. Artillery were asked for assistance in both cases but there was no response.
At 9am the Battalion prepared to advance to its original objective as soon as the 111th brigade advanced on Monchy.
At 10:30 am Major Greatwood was informed that the 8th Somerset Light Infantry were in Monchy and that he must support them. They advanced to the valley but in this advance they suffered heavy casualties as they had no artillery support.
At 4pm Major Greatwood issued orders to attack Monchy with the 8th Somerset on the right, Lincolns on the left. Again with no artillery support they had to dig in on high ground receiving orders to attack at dusk.
When they had already opened out for the attack, orders arrived from Brigade cancelling the attack and consolidate the position and patrols were posted in front.
By the end of the 10th April 1917 the Battalion had 9 officers wounded, 30 other ranks killed, 187 other ranks wounded and 8 missing.
This action was part of the 1st battle of The Scarpe (A river just to the north of Arras) 9th -14th April
John Thomas Taylor, another local Edenham man went missing in the above action, serving with the machine gun section.
It is also reasonable to assume that Joseph Morton of Bourne, official date of death 20th April 1917, was one of the wounded or more likely missing on the 10th April.
Adding to the local casualties for the 8th, John Thomas Ashton was one of the wounded or more likely missing on the 10th April, being a local Morton man.
12th April 1917 Bn withdrawn from line and moved into ARRAS. On the 12th the Battalion were withdrawn from the line back initially to Arras
13th April 1917 – Duisans
Battalion moved to Duisans and billeted there for one night.
14th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved to billets in Beaufort.
16th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets
17th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets, training carried out
18th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion in billets, training being carried out.
19th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved to billets in Montenescourt.
20th April 1917 – Beaufort
Battalion moved by buses to Arras – Battalion in support.
The Battalion did not return to Arras until called into reserve and bussed into the town on the 20th. Next going into the front line in the 23rd April.
23rd April 1917 – Arras
Battalion in attack. Middlesex right front battalion. York and Lancaster regiment left front Battalion. Somerset Light Infantry Right support Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment left support Battalion.
Casualties, 20 officers killed, 2nd Lieut W.S.Dickinson, D.J.B Busher. Other Ranks killed 20., Wounded 102, missing 14.
Lance Corporal Fred Lloyd, of Bourne was reported as being killed in action on 24th April 1917.
25th April 1917 – Arras
Battalion in reserve.
April was a bad time for the battalion and also for our local communities as four of our local boys were killed during this period.
In July the Battalion were moved to Ypres in preparation for the Battle of Passchendaele.
On the 13th July 1917, William Lynn reported to the medical officer with a complaining of short-windedness, sharp pain over the left chest and a cough.
He was sent to the 50th Field Ambulance and then on to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station. Following initial consultation he was sent out of the field and on to the 55th General Hospital in Boulogne, where he was prepared for his return to Britain.
After being shipped home he was admitted to Springburn Woodside Central Hospital in Glasgow on the 27th July 1917. He was diagnosed has having contracted Tuberculosis of the Lungs and was eventually discharged from hospital on the 6th August.
William was subsequently confirmed for discharge from the Army on 29th August 1917 as being medically unfit and was assigned a pension number of Chelsea 91811H, and awarded the silver war badge number 224,300.
William eventually succumbed to the aftereffects of T.B on the 2nd February 1918 aged 21.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
In memory of Private William Stanley Lynn, 11891, 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 2 February 1918 Age 21. Son of Thomas Lynn of Edenham, Lincolnshire. Remembered with honour, Edenham (St. Michael and All Saints) Churchyard
William’s brother Thomas was later that year in September 1918, reported missing and it would not be until September 1919 that the parents were officially notified of him being officially reported as dead.
A glance at the medals rolls for the 8th Lincs shows an interesting few pages as along with our four already known Edenham men, plus the two Wyer brothers from Hacconby, we also find Harry Vernon Wright from neighbouring Bulby, who’s brother James was also killed serving with the 4th Lincolns and also John Thomas Taylor also of Edenham, and James Fisher Hanford of Morton who’s brother Harold was killed at Le Cateau. Plus those others we have mentioned in the above description of what one local man, William Lynn, went through.
11880 – Private Robert Henry Armstrong (Edenham Memorial)
11881 – Private William Cornwall
11882 – Private Harry Vernon Wright (Bulby)
11183 – Private Horace William Pick
11184 – Private Frederick Thomas Smith (Edenham Memorial)
11185 – Corporal Horace Fortescue
11189 – L/Corporal John Thomas Taylor (Edenham Memorial)
11891 – Pte William Stanley Lynn (Edenham Memorial)
11896 – Pte James Fisher Hanford (Morton)
We will remember them
- WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- British Newspaper Archive.