WILLIAM ARTHUR TURNOCK 

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 243917.
Regiment: 1/5th Bn. Cheshire Regiment Died of wounds Sunday 24th June 1917 Age 32County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried GUEMAPPE BRITISH CEMETERY, WANCOURT
Grave\Panel Ref: I.A.4.
France

Son of Mr. Henry Turnock, and Mrs. Sarah Ann Turnock, of 53, Canal Street, Congleton, Cheshire and Cross Lane, Mossley, Congleton, Cheshire, and husband of Mrs. Leah Turnock, (nee Wood), of 22, Dane Street, Congleton, Cheshire. They were married at St James's Church, Congleton, Cheshire, in 1908. In 1901, he resided with a Mr. Edwin Bayley, at 29, Canal Street, where he was employed as a Servant. He had two children, Willie and Rose Turnock. He had three sisters, Harriet, Lydia and Martha Turnock, along with four brothers, Daniel, George Henry, Samuel and Herbert Turnock. His brother Daniel Turnock was killed in action while serving with the 13th Battalion the Cheshire Regiment on the 21st of October 1916. Samuel Turnock was killed on the North Staffordshire Railway in 1912, when he was accidently hit by a Goods Train while working.

Pre-War, William served in the Territorials with the 1/7th Bn. Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, enlisting in 1914. He transferred to the 1/5th Bn. Battalion in 1917, having seen action in Gallipoli. The 1/5th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment was a pioneer unit, trained fighting men, but with a prime job of constructing strongpoints and trench defences. On the 24th of June, they were at a position known as Telegraph Hill, near the French village of Achicourt (now a suburb of the town of Arras). The Battalion War Diary records that "D" Company and three companies of infantry started to dig a new front-line trench. The other three companies were digging communication trenches which would lead to the new front line. It was while carrying out these duties that Lance Corporal William Arthur Turnock received the injuries from which he later died.

Extract from the Chonicle Chronicle 1917.

Private William Turnock was mobilised prior to the outbreak of war with the members of the 1/7th Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. He took part in the memorable landing at Suvla Bay and was invalided home suffering from dysentery and after recuperating was sent out to France where his bonhomie and utter disregard of danger elicited the admiration alike of officers and men. The sad intelligence that he had died from honourable wounds received in action, while being conveyed to the Dressing Station on 24th of June 1917 reached Mrs. Turnock on the 29th of June. He was a native of Congleton and resided in Dane Street, Congleton. The first intimation that Private Turnock had laid down his life for the cause was conveyed in the following letter sent by Private Syd Moss to his mother who also lives in Dane Street,

Just a few lines to let you know I am alright and hoping that you are the same. I am very sorry to tell you that Will Turnock was seriously wounded and died while going to the Dressing Station. It has upset us all. He was well liked by all the lads in the Battalion. He is buried near here and I will look after the spot as long as I remain here. It will be hard for Aunt Leah and her two little children to bear, but the sorrow will be lightened by the thought that he died doing his duty. Break this sorrowful news to her gently and tell her it is from me. I have got the only thing that he left, namely a pair of field glasses, which he told me to take home the first furlough I had. I know it will upset you all, but try and bear the loss bravely.

From your loving so, Syd.



Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for this information on William.

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016