Thank you to Lenka Cathersides and Patricia Brazier for the following research
William George was born in 1893 in Clapham Sussex. He is the son of William Shelley and Emily Shelley (nee Clevett).
In the 1901 Census his family are living in the parish of Newfishbourne in Sussex. William’s father is a groom and he has two sisters Mary born in 1883 and Ellen born in 1891.
In the 1911 census William is still living with his family but now at Methewen Villas, Summersdale, Chichester. William is 18 and a Butcher’s Assistant.
William enlisted into the Army in 1915 giving his place of residence as Dorking. His Uncle James Clevitt (his mother’s brother) is a Gardner living in Chappel Lane, Betchworth. Perhaps William moved to Surrey to live with his Uncle, who would be able to find work for him on one of the local farms or Estates. James continued to live in Surrey at The Lodge, Brockham Warren until his death in 1945. He must have asked for William to be commemorated in St. Martin’s church.
William died on 15th September 1916. At the time his regiment was fighting in the Battle of the Somme and in September had suffered heavy losses at High Wood. He has no known Grave. His name appears on the Theipval Memorial, Panel Reference: Pier and Face 9D and 16B
William’s mother Emily Shelley received £5, 12s and 6d on the 28th of September 1917 and a further £8 on the 4th of October 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
He received the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.
William George Shelley is also remembered on a plaque at St. Martins Church in Dorking.
Born Clapham, Sussex
Son of William and Emily (nee Clevett) Shelley.
Regiment 1st/2nd Battalion. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
Date of Death 15th September 1916
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Thiepval Memorial, France