William Thomas Tipton
Died 10th October 1918 aged 20
William Thomas Tipton was born in January 1898 in Church Stretton and was baptised there on 16th January by the Rector, Charles Noel-Hill.
The 1901 census shows William living at World’s End with his father Charles, a painter and glazier, his mother Ellen and his three older sisters Alice, Elsie Mary and Edith. He also had 2 younger brothers, Arthur and the youngest member of the family, baby Harold. Some six years later we can see William and his brothers Harold, Dick (Richard) and Arthur in this school photo.
A wistful looking William aged nine
By the time of the 1911 census Elsie May was working as an under-nurse in Birkenhead and Alice was a servant nearer home in Frankwell, Shrewsbury. William, now 13, was still at home with his parents along with Edith, Arthur, Harold and new additions to the family, Richard aged 8 and young Belton, just two. Sadly, William’s mother Ellen died later that year, leaving her husband Charles alone with the six children.
This photo was taken around 1911 and shows William’s siblings. William’s whereabouts on that day are not known.
The girl in the photo is Alice, who later lived at Tityrus, up Castle Hill, in All Stretton.
On the back row are Arthur and Richard and in front we can see Harold and Belton.
Charles re-married in the spring/summer of 1914 and we understand that William left home as soon as he could after the outbreak of war later that year, enlisting in Shrewsbury.
He was a private in the 1st battalion of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry with a service number 25025 and was mobilised in July 1916. The 1st battalion took part in the early battles of the Aise and Marne and thereafter served entirely on The Western Front. In October 1918 the battalion were engaged in the Battle of Cambrai. At midnight on October 8th/9th orders were received for the battalion to attack at 5am, the regimental war diaries show that there was barely enough time reach the designated assembly positions.
Although the action was a success Private William Thomas Tipton lost his life on 10th October. He is described in some records as ‘died of wounds’ and others as ‘killed in action’.
He is buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery, France, Grave V11 F.16.
He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. His soldiers’ effects show that he left a total of £25 9s 6d to his father, Charles.
William’s youngest brother Belton did very well for himself, considering the tragic loss of his mother at such a young age. He built the house Highbury on Ludlow Road for himself and his wife in 1938, served in East Africa in WW2 and later built up Tipton DIY on High Street with his son Ray. Sadly William was not to live long enough to see his success.
War Diaries image courtesy of the National Archives
Photos and other information provided by a family member.