William Redman Boness was born and brought up in Bedfordshire. He arrived in Chelmsford before the war and lived in Upper Roman Road. From there he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in February 1915. Five months later he set sail for Gallipoli on board the troopship Royal Edward. He was one of hundreds of men killed when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea in August 1915,
William was born in 1890 in Potton, Bedfordshire, the son of the single woman Mary Redman Boness.
The census the following year found William, aged one, living with his 28 year-old mother, her parents and her three siblings at Horselow Street in Potton. At the time his mother was a general servant, while his grandfather was an agricultural labourer.
A decade later the 1901 census recorded 11 year-old William, with his grandparents and two uncles at the same address. Meanwhile his mother, who had married in 1899, was living with her husband, Samuel Gregory and three of his children in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
BONESS*, William Redman
Private, 54th (1st/1st East Anglian) Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps
William was aged 25. He had served in the army for 171 days at the time of his death.
He is not commemorated by either the Civic Centre War Memorial, nor Moulsham War Memorial, but is remembered by the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli.
William was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
At the time of his death William’s mother lived in Bethnal Green, London, and after the war her home was at 5 Saville Court, Brompton Square, London.
On 4th February 1915 William attested at Chelmsford to serve in the army as Private 69 in the 54th (1st/1st East Anglian) Casualty Clearing Station in the Royal Army Medical Corps. His was a Territorial unit, intended for home defence, but William like many of his comrades volunteered for overseas service if required.
At the time he joined the army William’s home address was 10 Upper Roman Road in Chelmsford. He was then aged 25 years and one month, was five feet six inches gall with a chest of 35 inches. He had good vision and good physical development.
William along with his comrades in the East Anglian Casualty Clearing Station set sail from Devonport on 29th July 1915 on the troopship ‘Royal Edward’ for Gallipoli.
The vessel arrived at Alexandria, Egypt on 11th August 1915, and left the following day for Mudros, the final staging point before the planned arrival at Gallipoli.
On the morning of 13th August 1915, William was one of hundreds of men killed when the troopship Royal Edward was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-14.