William Thomas COCKERILL (1879-1915)
William Thomas Cockerill was born in 1879 in Hanley Staffordshire. It is not known what the family were doing in Staffordshire as the rest of the children were born in Hillmorton. Thomas’s father Walter, a plasterer, married Martha Brown at Hillmorton Parish Church on 28th June 1875. Martha died the following year and Walter married Elizabeth Goode in 1877. By 1881 the family lived in Upper Street, Hillmorton. Walter died in 1884 at the age of 35 and in 1890 Elizabeth had married Edward King. By 1891 the family were living at 19 Plowman Street, Rugby and by 1901 they had moved to Gas Street, Rugby.
Thomas was educated at St Matthews School and worked as a bricklayer’s labourer in Rugby. By 1901 he had left home and joined the 1st Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He served in the Boer War, receiving two medals. After leaving the army, he remained in the reserves. He settled in Sheffield, where he married Nellie Pearson in 1906 and by 1911 was working as a labourer for an armour plate manufacturer (Vickers Ltd). He and Nellie had two children, Walter and Lewis. A third child was born later.
When WW1 started Thomas was called up (private, no. 6039, 1st Bn, KOYNI) and in November 1914 he was wounded. He came home, but on recovery returned to the front. On 25th August 1915 he died from wounds caused by the bursting of a shell.
He was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.
An inscription on his gravestone reads: “He died that we might live, From Wife and Children”
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM