William Herbert Green

William Herbert Green was born in Hatton on 2nd July 1898 and baptised at Daresbury on 21st August that year. He was the son of Henry Green (born Hatton) and his wife Fanny (nee Savage) who was born in Stockton Heath.

At the age of 2 years, in 1901, he was living with his parents and his two brothers, George H. (6) and Alfred (5) at Factory Yard in Hatton. He was recorded as Herbert. His father was a teamster, a driver of a team of animals on a farm. William Herbert was educated at Daresbury School.

Ten years later his brother Alfred had left home to work on a farm in Appleton and William Herbert was living in Hatton with his parents and George Henry, now a farm labourer. George Henry would also serve in the Great War and was killed in 1916. Alfred also served. Prior to serving William Herbert was employed by the St. Helens Cable and Rubber Company.

William Herbert enlisted in 1916 at the age of 18 years and was assigned to the 8th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry as a Private with the service number of 28789. It is not clear whether he served in a theatre of war before autumn 1917, but then he sailed to France on 9th October that year and landed at Le Havre a day later. He underwent gas drilling training at Rouen, prior to joining his battalion at Berthen in the Nord department of northern France. From there they were sent by motor car to Ypres, where they suffered shelling and then on to Tournai and to the front line near King Albert’s Castle near Ypres. He fell ill there and was sent to a hospital at Kemmel, where he spent five weeks over the Christmas period. Following five months on the front line at Ypres, he was sent in April 1918 to the front line on the Somme where the Germans had begun an offensive. After two days up to his knees in mud and water in the trenches, he was wounded and taken prisoner during an attack on the German line. Having had his wound dressed, he was marched towards Germany, stopping at hospitals at Denain and Condé in late April 1918.

He was reported missing in the Warrington Guardian dated 11th May 1918, but a month later was reported to be a sick and injured prisoner of war. He was sent by train to Quedlinburg in Germany and spent three months in hospital there and then moved on to Aschersleben in Saxony-Anhalt. He was eventually freed and returned home to be demobilized in March 1919, when he was transferred to Class Z Reserve. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.

In the summer of 1936, William Herbert Green married Barbara Eleanor Evans Houghton of Hatton and they had one son called George. The 1939 Register recorded the family as living at Hickson’s Cottages in Hatton, with Barbara’s widowed father, Frank Houghton, who also served in the Great War. William Herbert was a highway labourer. He had worked on a farm where he took milk to Warrington on a cart pulled by a blind horse. He also spent some of his working life at the British Aluminium factory at Warrington.

During World War Two he served in the Home Guard in Hatton and Newton- by- Daresbury. He enjoyed going to St. Luke’s Church hall in Hatton to play billiards.

William Herbert Green of Hewitt’s Cottage in Hatton died on 12th February 1972, predeceasing his wife Barbara by fifteen years. He was 72 years of age.