SENNITT, William Henry

No.7453, Private, William Henry SENNITT
Aged 30

1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 5th March 1915

William Henry Sennitt was born in Stretham in 1884 (Ely Q4-1884 3b:551), son of Harry and Susan Eliza SENNITT (née MANSFIELD), sometime of Crook Tree Farm

1891 census...Aged 6, he was at Dimmocks Cote Farm, Bankside, Stretham with his father Henry SENNITT [26] farm labourer; his mother [28] born Milton, Cambridgeshire; sisters Ellen [7] (1883-1896), Susan Elizabeth [3] and Bertha [1] and brother George [5]. All, except his mother, were born in Stretham.

1901 census...Aged 16, a yardman on farm, he was a boarder at Joist Fen, Waterbeach with David and Eliza COLE. His parents, brother George, sister Bertha and 4 new brothers, Harry [9], Walter J [7], Fred [5] and Arthur [4] (all 4 born in Stretham) were at Lodeside, Swaffham Prior.

He married Dora Alice CREEK [25-8-1889] 1st June 1907, at St Lawrence, Wicken, later of "Honeysuckle Cottage", Upware, Wicken, Cambs.

1911 census...Aged 26, a farm labourer, he was at Drivers Farm Cottages, Swaffham Fen,(Swaffham Prior) with his wife Dora Alice [21] born Sheffield, Yorkshire and the son Harold [24-5-1909] born Wicken, and daughter Winifred [6-9-10] born Swaffham Bulbeck. Their eldest son, William Henry [29-6-1909] was visiting his grandparents Richard and Elizabeth CREEK at "Laburnums" Swaffham Fen. His parents were now at Upware, Wicken with Harry, Walter, Fred and Arthur and 2 more children, Edmund [8] and Ellen [3], both born in Upware. His mother had borne 11 children but 1 had died.

He enlisted in Ely. It would be strange if he had not qualified for the clasp to his 1914 star, but this clap was not instituted until after the war and had to be claimed and verified before it could be awarded.

The battalion had been in billets at Bailleul since 28th February, returning to the line in support of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the 5th and to the canal bank south of Ypres on 6th. In that time only two men died. Considering the quiet time it would seem William Sennitt's original grave must have been destroyed in later fighting, hence his name on the Menin Gate.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Sennitt is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, panels 31 and 33
and also on the plaque in the Little Chapel in the Fen.

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