William Hewitt Page (1891-1918)
Lance Corporal 2153
1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
The Loos Memorial commemorates 20,605 British officers and men who were killed from 25 September 1915 to the end of the war in November 1918 in the battle sector between the river Lys in French Flanders and the village of Grenay, near Lens, in Artois.
The thousands of names of the servicemen missing in action with no known grave are inscribed on 139 stone panels attached to these side and rear walls. After the first Battle of Loos in 1915 the front line moved hardly at all until the end of the war. Remains stayed in no-man’s-land, in some cases for years, becoming increasingly difficult to identify.
Among those commemorated on the Loos Memorial is Lance Corporal William Page, who was born in Sparkbrook in 1891. William’s father, also William, was a gun barrel machinist. His mother, Mary Ada Ayers, had been brought up by her mother, a baker who was widowed when Mary was very young. The Page family lived at 30, Beechfield Road, between Mole Street and Ladypool Road.
William Page became a railway porter, and moved to Tamworth to board near his station. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, with service number 2153 – which may indicate that William joined up before or at the start of the war. William was sent to France on 29th July 1915, and survived for nearly three years. On 9th April 1918, German forces attacked in Flanders, attempting to drive the Allies back to the Channel. The offensive, known as Operation Georgette, resembled in plan, though not in size, Operation Michael to the south. After initial successes the German attack was held after British and French reserves were deployed. William Page was killed in action on 17th April.