William James Aldis

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.

William Aldis at the installation of the new bells in Saxlingham Nethergate 1908

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 as part of the first local band to ring a peal on the new bells. 1910

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.

William outside St. Mary’s Church in 1910

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.