2nd Lt. William Strong

William Strong was born just after Christmas 1894 on the 27th December, perhaps at Epplesby near Middlesbrough. He was the only son of Margaret Hannah Hall and Samuel Strong who had been married in Darlington, 1892. They had one daughter named Rose Annie who was a schoolteacher in 1911 and had been born the year before William. In 1911, both William and his father were listed as gardeners and the family lived at Borough Park in Catterick. (Source: 1901, 1911 Census)

When war was declared in 1914, William was just short of being 20, but did not join up immediately – there is no mention of a 1915 Star on his medal card. It could be possible that he was originally posted to a different regiment and was posted to  the Leeds Pals later on in the war. However, as he was not commissioned until 28th March 1917 and remained a 2nd Lieutenant in 1918, this seems rather unlikely. Another possibility is that he joined as a Private and was commissioned later, but his service record is missing so we cannot be sure. (Source: Medal Card)

The little we do know about Lt. Strong can be gleaned from his POW records. He was one of the Pals who was captured at Ayette on 27th March 1918. Sergeant Albert Mountain was awarded the VC for fighting off the German attack – but only four officers and forty men managed to escape. The rest were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. William was one of the men who was captured.

He is recorded as having arrived at Cassel, France on 12th July 1918 – but the intervening time is not accounted for. It is not known if he was wounded. He was transferred to Rastatt at some point and then from there to Danholm Straslund in August of 1918. He was released at the end of December and awarded the Victory and British War Medals. (Source: POW records)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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