William Tomlinson was born at Hyson Green in Nottingham in 1891. He was the youngest child of the 7 living children of Henry, a Lacemaker, and Harriet Tomlinson. In 1911 he was working as a Carriage Hand in a Lace Factory in Nottingham.
On 28 December that year he moved with his parents to 20 James Street Rugby as his elder brother Ernest’s wife had committed suicide by drowning in the Brownsover canal leaving 15 month old baby Jim to be looked after.
William then worked in the Pattern Shop at the BTH Rugby. He was 5’6″ tall and 35 days short of his 23rd birthday when he and his elder brother Ernest enlisted with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 7th Battalion on 3 September 1914 and were posted to Aldershot on 5 September.
On 19 May 1915 they landed at Boulogne and fought in France and Flanders. The British Infantry had captured Hooge on 19 July but on 30 July the Germans used their new flame throwers and reclaimed their positions.
William R/79 a Rifleman was shot and killed on 31 July 1915 and his brother Ernest was shot in the head & badly injured at the same time.
William was awarded the British Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM