William Theodore Anderson

WWI Roll of Honour

by Lynette Wray

William Theodore Anderson


Military History:        


Regiment:                               Royal Engineers

Rank:                                      Driver

Service Number:                    73477

Date of Enlisting:                   20.9.1915

Date of death:                        15.8.1965

Cemetery/ Memorial:            

UK Cemetery/Memorial:       St Mary’s Church Ashwell Roll of Honour
                                             St Mary’s churchyard, Ashwell, Hertfordshire

William enlisted at Hitchin on 20th September 1915 as a driver with the 3rd Corps, Signal Company, Royal Engineers, giving his age as 18.  He was in fact only 17. In 1916 the Rev Webb of Ashwell wrote to William’s commanding officer asking on behalf of his mother, Ellen, that William be released from service as he was not yet 18, but the army decided he must be held to serve.

William served in Basrah and Margil in Iraq, and was posted to Poona, India in 1919.  He survived the War and died in Ashwell on 15 August 1965. He is buried in St Mary’s churchyard with his parents.

William was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

He is commemorated on the St Mary’s Church Ashwell Roll of Honour.


Family History:


Date of Birth:                12.2.1898

Birth Place:                   Baldock, Hertfordshire

Residence:                    Ashwell, Hertfordshire

Marriage:                      22.5.1926


William was born at the Black Eagle pub in Baldock on 12th February 1898, the eldest son of Henry and Ellen Craft (nee Allison, previously Spicer) Anderson.  The pub was run as a boarding house by his mother Ellen. When they left the pub the family went to Botany Bay Farm, Graveley, Hertfordshire. He had two sisters, Florence Rhoda, born on 6th October 1896 and Ellen Merlinda, born 26th January 1902. Both parents had previous marriages from which there were many children, and William grew up with two step-sisters, Daisy Spicer born 10th August 1886 and Louise Spicer born 12th May 1888.

He attended the Merchant Taylors School in Ashwell and before enlisting was a farm labourer.

William married Winifred Olive Bryant of Ashwell on 22 May 1926.  They had three children, a son, John, born in April 1928 and daughters, Mary, born on 2nd March 1930 and Olive born on 1st November 1934.

William died in Ashwell on 15 August 1965 leaving his estate to his wife Winifred Olive.  He is buried in the St Mary’s churchyard, Ashwell, Hertfordshire with his parents.




William’s sister Florence (Worboys) was the Ashwell village postwoman for over 60 years.



William Theodore Anderson

Birth Place:

Baldock, Hertfordshire


Ashwell, Hertfordshire

Death Date:


Enlistment Place:





Royal Engineers


3 Corps Signal Company

Regimental Number:


Type of Casualty:


Theatre of War:

Asia, Mesopotamia, India

This page was added on 05/05/2016.