||21st Service Bn
|Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiments)||81210||10th; 17th Bn. "D" Coy|
Research by Simon Johnson
Formally a Private 21 Bn. Royal Fusiliers, appointed to a commission 14/01/1915.
William enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers on 15/09/14, aged twenty-one, a bankclerk living at Crich. Previously he had been in the Cadet Corps at Derby School. He was 5ft 7½in tall, weighed 128lb had grey eyes and brown hair. His next of kin was named as his father Charles Joseph Else of Ambergate (although he had married Ada Evelyn Kay on December 11th 1916).
On 23/01/15 he was discharged from the Royal Fusiliers on receiving a Commission in the 1oth Bn. Notts & Derbys.
Because he had not notified the War Office of his marriage his widow was not notified of his death.
8 January 1918
Lieut. W.E. Else 10th Sherwood Foresters (attachd to 17th)
Your telegram of yesterday the 7th announcing the deat in action of Lieut. Else was received with great regret. Will you please note that Mrs W.E. Else is now in residence at the above address. "West Leigh", Ambergate, to whom all further communication should be addressed.
Lieut. Else was married on December 11th 1916, and the address of the telegram was to his father at Park Lodge.
Any further particulars having reference to how he met his death will be gratefully recieved by both his widow, and his father
your obedient servant
(Parent of Mrs Else)
The reply from the War Office:
10th January 1918
The Military Secretary presents his compliments to Mr Kay, and in answer to his letter of 8 January, begs to inform him that no particulars have been received concerning the death of Lieutenant W.E. Else, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, beyond that he was killed in action on 3 January.
The Military Secretary suggests that further information might be attained by writing to the
Officer Commanding, attached 17th Battalion, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force,
who will probably be only too glad to supply any details in his position.
The Military Secretary much regrets that the notification of Lieutenant Else's death was not sent to Mrs Else but the fact that he was married had not been notified to the War Office so the telegram was said to his father who was registered as his next of kin.
The Military Secretary is desired by the Secretary of State for War to express his deepest sympathy with Mrs Else in the loss of her gallant husband.
His Army Will named his wife, Ada Evelyn Else, and brother, Charles Glossop Else as his executors. The gross value of his estate was £380 12s 4d. His medals were sent to his wife
Correspondence in his records show the family had problems getting £6 10s 6d owed to the late Lieutenant Else from the War Office and that solicitors were involved.
The inhabitants of Crich and Fritchley were greatly grieved when they received the sad news that Lieutenant William E. Else of the Sherwood Foresters, son of Coun. Charles J. Else of The Lodge Fritchley had been killed in action on the Western Front on the 3rd inst. Lieutenant Else joined the Army in September 1914 as a private and he was promoted second lieutenant in February 1915, apparently he was promoted whilst in France to the rank of lieutenant. He was over in December 1917 on 14 days leave. The late Mr Else was 24 years of age. He was educated at Dartford Grammar and Derby Schools, and afterwards was engaged on the staff at Parr's Bank, Matlock. On the declaration of war he was one of the most enthusiastic in the district in encouraging recruits for the Army. On December 13th 1916 he married Miss Ada Evelyn Kay, daughter of Mr A. Kay the manager of Messrs Richard Johnson and Nephew's wire mill at Ambergate.
Official intimation has been received of the death in action in France of Lieut. William Else of "Westleigh," Ambergate. He belonged to a well-known and highly respected Ambergate family, and was only 24 years of age. His young widow, for whom much sympathy will be felt, was formerly a Miss A.Kay, of Ambergate, and she is at present assisting in the work at the War Pensions Department at Derby. She has received a letter from the Colonel of Lieut Else's regiment stating that her husband was shot through the head, and that death was instantaneous. The sad circumstance is that the late lieutenant Else was home on leave only three weeks or a month ago. He will be remembered here is one of the staff of Parrs Bank.
Charles Beresford in his book "The Bath at War" wrote about the death of William Else. He noted that he was well-known in Matlock Bath as he worked at Parr's Bank on the Parade. William had joined the Public Schools battalion on the 15th September 1914 and was commissioned to the 10th Sherwood Foresters some four months later. On New Years Eve he was attached to the 17th Sherwood Foresters in the Ypres area. The battalions's War Diary described everything as being quiet. It was snowing and the Germans could be heard singing. The 17th were due to be relieved by the 16th Foresters on the 3rd January 1918 but it was on this day that William was shot in the head by a German sniper and died instantly. He was just twenty-four years old and married but a year. The War Office telegram was sent to William's parents
"To Else, Park Lodge, Fritchley. Derby.
Deeply regret to inform you Lieut W E Else Sherwood Foresters was killed in action January third The Army Council express their sympathy"
His wife Ada (née Kay) was working at the War Pensions Department in Derby.
[William was an acting captain when he was killed and although recommended for a MC this was not awarded.]
The fourth bell in St Mary's, which was recast in 1928, is dedicated to him.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
|Name||ELSE, WILLIAM EDWIN|
|Regiment/Service||Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)|
|Unit||Officer Commanding "D" Coy. 17th Bn.|
|Date of Death||03/01/18|
|Additional Information||Husband of Ada Evelyn Else, of "West Leigh," Ambergate, Derbyshire. Native of Fritchley, Ambergate.|
|Casualty type||Commonwealth War Dead|
|Grave/Memorial Reference||XIII. H. 7.|
|Cemetery||VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY|
Two of William's brothers are also on the Roll of Honour, Guy Else and Charles Else
|Charles J.||Else||Head||35||Living on own means||Crich|
1911: Park Lodge, Fritchley
|Charles Joseph||Else||Head||45||Farmer & private means||Crich|
|Charles Glossop||Else||son||19||Articled Surveyor||Crich|
|William Edwin||Else||son||17||Bank Clerk||Crich|
|Elizabeth Ann||Bowler||servant||20||Domestic general servant||Swanwick|
|Annie||Bunting||servant||17||Domestic general servant||Swanwick|