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Name William James Kew
Date/Place of Birth 20 Nov 1897 / 9 Brewer St, Goswell St, London
Parents' Names Walter Charles Kew; Helena (nee Barlow)
Father's Occupation/Location Engineer's Labourer; City of London
Father's Death/Incapacity Apoplexy
Admitted to AO 22 May 1903 (Aged 5)
Admission No 5643
Left OWS&AO Christmas 1911 (Aged 14)
Occupation/Residence Employed at a ship brokers, Canonbury, London
Enlistment Location London
Service/Rank/Number Army; Rifleman; 5722, 392245
Battalion/Regiment 1st/9th County of London Bn, London Regt (T.F.)
Killed/Death 3 May 1917 (Aged 19)
Country/Memorial/Cemetry France; Buried at Guimappe; Arras Memorial
Memorial Reference Bay 10
Campaign Medals Victory Medal; British War Medal
William James was born to Walter and Helena Kew on 20 November 1897 in London. His father died in 1901 and William was admitted to the Alexandra Orphanage in May 1903, aged 5, to be followed by his younger brother, Noel Charles, in 1905. William left the Orphan Working School soon after his fourteenth birthday and joined the Ship Brokers Anderson & Anderson, where he served under the direction of Sir Alan Anderson. Immediately after his eighteenth birthday, in November 1915, William volunteered for military service and joined the 1st/9th (County of London) Battalion, (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) London Regiment. Rifleman Kew served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the end of December 1916. For a time he was attached to No.1 Entrenching Battalion of the Royal Engineers, but he rejoined his own regiment in April 1917. Rifleman Kew was killed in action and buried at Guimappe, during the fighting at Arras, on 3 May 1917; he was nineteen years old. His Adjutant wrote: “He fought with the traditional bravery of a British soldier”. Rifleman Kew is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, within the Fauborg D’Amiens Cemetery in the French town of Arras. The Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 British, South African and New Zealand servicemen who lost their lives in the Arras sector between Spring of 1916 and the end of the War in November 1918.
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