William McCormick

WILLIAM McCORMICK (1894 - 1917)

St Alban's schoolboy William lived with his family at 29 Charlotte Street, in Macclesfield. William, named after his Dublin born father who worked as a bricklayer in the local area, was one of five children.

William joined the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment and was deployed to France in June 1916. It is likely that he fought with his Regiment in numerous offensives, including The Battle of Arras on the Western Front. In the summer of 1916, William's Regiment found themselves in action at Oppy Wood. The desolation of Oppy Wood, immortalised by John Nash's infamous painting, came about through fierce combat on both sides. The purpose of the attack was to force the enemy back from the observational advantage they held over the British lines. On Tuesday 28 June, at 7pm, British artillery created an intensive bombardment of the fourteen mile front. The enemy responded with heavy shelling. Fighting their way across no-man's-land, the British captured the wood before torrential rain brought the operations to an end. It was during this battle that the twenty three year old William was killed in action.

William is laid to rest in the Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arieux-En-Gohelle, Pas de Calais in France. A "Concentration of Graves - Burial Return" form shows that William's remains were exhumed from their original resting place and reburied in the cemetery on 21 January 1921; records suggest he was probably identified by his service tag. Surrounding William's burial plot is a large number of graves with headstones inscribed simply, "A Soldier of The Great War".

Oppy Wood
'Oppy Wood, 1917. Evening' by John Nash © iwm.org.uk


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This website honours the WWI casualities of St Alban's Catholic Church, Chester Road, Macclesfield

StAlban's WWII war dead