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Willie Squires

Willie SquiresBombardier Willie Squires, MM, 104105, Royal Garrison Artillery

Willie Squires was born on the 8th December 1887 and was baptised at South Ossett Christ Church on the 9th August 1888. He was the second son of Herbert Squires and his wife Mary (nee Fawcett), who married in the Dewsbury area in Spring 1881. The couple had seven children, but sadly three died before April 1911.

In 1891 the Squires family were living at Dewsbury Road, Ossett but by 1901, they had moved across town to Spring End, Horbury where Willie, aged only 13, was already working as an assistant grocer.

In 1911, Willie was 23 years-old and living with his parents and two of his siblings in a six-roomed home at Whinfield Terrace, Ossett Spa. His father Herbert was working as a foreman at the local rag and shoddy mill and Willie was still working as an assistant grocer.

Willie Squires, a wool extractor of Spa Lane, Ossett married spinster Rhoda Fearnside, the daughter of oil merchant Alonzo Fearnside, of Manor Road, Ossett, at South Ossett Christ Church on the 25th February 1914. A daughter Mary Fearnside Squires was born in the summer of 1915.

Willie Squires’ army service record has not survived, but his medal card indicates that he reached the rank of Corporal and that his service number was 104105. He was awarded the British and Victory medals, but not the 1914/15 Star, indicating that he did not serve overseas before the 31st December 1915. His medal card, in common with many, does not record his award of the Military Medal.

Willie Squires died in June 1970 in the Lower Agbrigg Registration District aged 82 years.

The local press had this report of Willie Squires' Military Medal award:

"Another Ossett Military Medallist - A well-known South Ossett young man, Bombardier Willie Squires, Royal Garrison Artillery, has succeeded in winning the Military Medal. A married man, he joined the army about two years ago and at the time was employed at the South Ossett branch of the Ossett Co-operative Society, and resided in South-parade. He was associated with St. Aidan's Mission Church as a member of the choir and a Sunday school teacher. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Squires reside at the Bungalow, Ossett Spa." 1


1. "Ossett Observer"