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William Helliwell Fisher

Private William H. Fisher, 17206, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 3rd Battalion

William Helliwell Fisher was born in Ossett on the 4th November 1888 and baptised at South Ossett Christ Church on the 14th April 1889. He was the only son of cloth fuller Charles Edward Fisher and his wife Mary Ann (nee McGuire) who married in summer 1889. The couple had two children from their marriage with a daughter, Hannah Mary being born in 1899.

In 1891, Ossett-born Charles Edward was living on Horbury Road, Ossett with his Horbury-born wife, Mary Ann and their two year-old son, William Helliwell Fisher. By 1901, the family had moved to Oakes Street, Flanshaw, where in 1911, Charles Edward was working as a cloth scourer and his son William was a boot repairer.

William Helliwell Fisher’s army service record has not survived but it is known that he enlisted at Wakefield and joined the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry with regimental service number 17206. He embarked for France on the 11th September 1915 and thereby qualified for the posthumous award of the 1914/15 Star in addition to the British and Victory medals.

The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was formed in August 1914 at Pontefract as depot/training unit. The Battalion moved on mobilisation to Hull and then to Withernsea in April 1916, on to Hedon in October 1916. Pocklington in June 1918 and finally Patrington in August 1918, as part of Humber Garrison. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of KOYLI served entirely within the UK and therefore it is likely that Private Fisher was attached to a different battalion of KOYLI in 1915 when he was fighting in France. Possibly, after he was injured and returned to England, he was transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.

His injuries were incurred in 1916 and he died at home the following year in 1917. This may suggest that a pension and/or a silver war badge application had been made but there is no record of either for William. He was not remembered on any Ossett Memorial or Roll of Honour probably because he and his family left Ossett in the 1890’s. He is remembered in this 2014 biography and Roll of Honour because the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and/or the U.K. Soldiers who Died in the Great War 1914-1918 listing records him as born or residing in Ossett.

Private William Helliwell Fisher, son on of the late Charles E. and Mary A. Fisher was wounded in France in 1916 and subsequently died from his injuries on the 5th November 1917, aged 28 years. He is buried at grave reference Q542 (North East) in Alverthorpe (St. Paul) Churchyard,1 Wakefield, West Yorkshire.


1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site