World War 1

Search the known records to date of those lost from the wider Alnwick area in World War 1

Generally showing where they are commemorated, when they died and some basic facts about each person. There are gaps, however, so if you can fill in any missing details do please contact us.

William Bickerton




Service Number:

2nd Lieutenant

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 56th Battalion



Oxford Road Cemetery, Ieper (N.B. Formerly interred in Fusilier Wood)

Service History:
Joined the Northumberland Fusiliers early in June 1915. Quickly attained the rank of Sergeant & served as Machine Gun Instructor in various training camps in England.

Obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant, 28 March 1917. Served with the Expeditionary Force in France & Flanders from 3 June.

Killed in action at Hollebeke & buried there in the Fusiliers' Wood.

His Captain wrote: 'Your son was killed in the early morning of 20 September, shortly after the commencement of the great battle in which we took part. He was killed instantly by a shell, whilst gallantly commanding his guns... Our machine guns did a lot of execution, & the enemy did his best to find us. I cannot tell you how deeply sorry I am personally at the death of your son... William was one of my best officers & highly popular with all of us. Our part of the attack involved a great deal of preparation. He was a keen & gallant fellow. I am sure you must be proud of him. His place here in this company will be difficult to fill.'

A brother officer, Lieutenant Eckersley wrote: 'The Company went into the line on the 19th inst. for the great push which started yesterday. I was left behind in charge of the camp. No details have yet reached me, except that William was killed within a few minutes of the start, probably by a shell. His loss is a great blow to us all & especially to me, for we were at Bisley together, & joined the Company together. He was an excellent & fearless officer & was highly esteemed by both officers & men. On behalf of Captain Champion, & the whole Company, I beg to tender our heartfelt condolence with you in your bereavement.'
(Sources: 'UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-18', Part 5, page 14. Also, Web -

Born about 1888, third son of Thomas & Mary (née Robinson) Bickerton, of 'Crag View', Longhoughton, Lesbury, Northumberland.

Educated at Duke's School, Alnwick, Northumberland.

The 1911 Census records Bickerton living at 21, Hotspur Street, Alnwick & working as an Assistant Grocer.

Four of his brothers also answered the call to arms. At the time of William's death, two were also serving on the Western Front; one was in Ireland; the other was in the South of England.
(Sources: 'UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-18', Part 5, page 14. Also, Web -

Local Memorial:
Alnwick, Memorial Plaque in former premises of the DukeÂ’s School (Source: Dudley George; August 2018) Longhoughton War Memorial