William was a bell ringer at St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate. In 1908 he is in a photograph taken outside the church when two new bells were being installed. He was also in the first peal that was rung on the new bells by a local band.
He was born in Woodton, Norfolk on 26 July 1891 to Louisa and Jonathan Aldis. He was baptised William James Aldis in Woodton Church on 13 September 1891. He had two brothers and two sisters.
Ruby Claribel Aldis born 1885
Jonathan Aldis born 1887
Grace Aldis born 1898
Laura Aldis born 1904
In 1901 the family were living in The Street, Woodton but moved to live in Saxlingham between 1904 and 1908. His father was a blacksmith.
William worked as a groom and in 1911 was employed by Retired Captain William H Long who lived at Hill House, Saxlingham Nethergate. He lived there not with his parents.
Prior to joining the Army Service Corps in Whitehall on 19th January 1915, William worked as a chauffeur for a family at Bracondale Woods, Norwich. He gave his home address as Saxlingham Nethergate.
He was aged 24 years old and 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 120lbs. His service number was M2/34208 and he was a motor driver part of the Mechanical Transport Brigade. He worked some of the time as a motor lorry driver and sometime as a car driver.
He left Avonmouth on 29th January 1915 and arrived in Rouen on 2 February 1915. He served in France till 12 August 1919.
On 14th March 1919 he was admitted to 46th Stationary Hospital at Etaples with influenza and stayed there until 3 April when he returned to duty. He came back to England in August and was discharged from the army in September 1919.
In 1921 he married Daisy V Durrant in Erpingham, Norfolk.
He died in 1923 aged 31 years
UK Census Collection
England & Wales, Birth, marriage and death index, 1837-2005
British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920
British Army WW1 Service Records
Photographs in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate ringing chamber.