PRICE, William John

No.17442, Private, William John PRICE
Aged 23

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died by accident on Monday, 3rd April 1916

William John Price was born in Stansfield in 1893 (Risbridge Q1-1893 4A:729), baptised in Stansfield on 21st May 1893, son of William and Elizabeth Sarah PRICE (née FRY).

1901 census... Aged 8, he was at Clare Road, Stansfield with his father William PRICE [47] a portable engine driver, born Glemsford; his mother Elizabeth [44] born in Norden Heath, Dorset; sisters Elizabeth [23] and Annie [19] both dressmakers, born in Stansfield.

1911 census... Aged 18, a farm labourer, he was at Bridgemans, Stansfield with his parents, father now a farm labourer.

He enlisted in Clare .
The battalion war diary has not been found but a letter from a comrade was recorded in the Bury Free Press of 17th June 1916 :-

The following letter has been received from a comrade of Prvt Price :- Salonica, May 15th, 1916. Dear Miss Roote.- Just a few lines in answer to your letter, enquiring about the death of Prvt Price, which I am sorry to say it is only too true. He was killed by a bomb, quite accidentally, while the company bombers were at practice, as they used to practice throwing them every day, and he was one of the bombers. He was throwing one of the bombs, when his hand hit the back of the trench, and he dropped the bomb and it exploded before he could get clear away. He was hit on one side and neck and died instantly. He could not have suffered any pain. He had a very nice funeral, attended by all his company and officers, about 200 of us.....There was a firing party of twelve of his comrades, who fired over his grave. The cemetery is close to Salonica: only English and French are buried there. I was speaking to him just after dinner, and the accident happened at 3:30. I often used to have a chat with him and of course we were looking forward to the time to come when the war would finish and we could return to Clare together. I hope you will accept my deepest sympathy in your sad loss and please express the same to his father and other. I missed him, as there are not many in this regiment that come from near Clare. If I ever get back I will come over to Stansfield and tell you all about it myself.

Annoyingly the article fails to identify the writer of the letter, so we cannot say if he was lucky enough to survive the war.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Price is buried in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery grave 111

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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