William John was the 2nd son of Mary & John Bathe, born 1888 in Warnborough Wiltshire. The family moved to Rugby about 1900 and settled at 41 Sun Street.
William John’s attestation papers state he was 17 years, height 5ft 3 inches. Weight 104 lbs, pale complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. Scar right eyebrow and birthmark left flank.
His former employment in Rugby was as a groom for Mr R Holmes.
William John signed 29th August 1906 for 6 years with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. After 49 days of training he joined 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. 1st December 1906.
Next of Kin is John Bathe Father & Henry Claude Bathe Brother both of 41 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, Rugby.
In 1911 Private William John Bathe was stationed at South Barracks Gibraltar, now aged 22 years. Maybe on route to South Africa where he spent the next 7 years. He is described as a fine muscular fellow and regarded as one of the best boxers of his regiment. On the outbreak of war the regiment was ordered back to England where he was able to spend a few days with his family in Rugby before proceeding to France at the end of October. Sadly William John died of wounds received on 29th October 1914 at Klen Zelebecke and is remembered on the Memorial at Ypres Town Cemetery Extension, Rugby Memorial Gates & New Bilton.
William John received 3 medals: Victory Medal, British Medal and Clasp.
Disembarkation date 4th October 1914. Died of wounds 29th October 1914 he was in France for 25 days. A sad end after spending 7 years in South Africa.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM