2nd Lieutenant William Edward RUSSELL
Royal Field Artillery
Date of birth: 10 November 1892
Date of death: 12 May 1917
Killed in action aged 24
Buried in Heninel Communal Cemetery Extension Plot B 11
William Edward was born in Croydon, the only child of Edward and Kate Russell.
Edward came from Shotts in Lanarkshire where his father was an iron miner. In 1881 census he is described as a commercial traveller in mantles, and by 1891a manufacturer of mantles. In 1911, the family were living at Wilbury Villas, Hove and Edward was described as “gentleman”.
William was educated at Charterhouse and came up to Christ Church in 1911 as an Exhibitioner.
On 5 March 1915, he was gazetted as a Temporary Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. He was killed in action near Arras on 12 May 1917, and is buried in Heninel Communal Cemetery.
Heninel village was captured in a snowstorm on 12 April 1917 by the 56th (London) and 21st Division, and the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, advancing from Heninel on the two following days, captured Wancourt Tower. The extension was begun by the 50th Division Burial Officer in April 1917 and was used by fighting units until the following November. Heninel Communal Cemetery Extension contains 140 burials of the First World War, seven of them unidentified.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry states that he was the husband of Olga H. C. Ricketts (formerly Russell), of "Summerhill," Sandown, Isle of Wight.
Probate was granted to Blanche Mary Norman, spinster, on 5 October 1916.
He left £12,283-16s-10d.