Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Second Lieutenant William Anderson



William Anderson was born on 15 January 1895 at Greenisland, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, the third of five children of tea taster John Anderson and his wife Robina (nee Johnstone). He served a five year apprenticeship at the Belfast firm of Mitchell Brothers before being engaged in the tea trade business with Mr James Feeney, Ulster Street.

Anderson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 2 June 1915 (No.1659, later Corps of Hussars No.71488). He was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on 30 December 1915 and corporal on 10 March 1916.

On 29 June 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to E Squadron, 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. Apart from some months invalided home with eczema, he remained with the regiment until July 1917, when he left for officer training. He joined the No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Fermoy on 7 September 1917 and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 30 January the following year.

Second Lieutenant Anderson was initially posted to the 20th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. Later in the year he was posted to the Rifles' 15th Battalion, joining it at the front in August.

He was killed by machine-gun fire on 20 October 1918 as his battalion pushed across the Deerlyck-Waereghem road towards the Gaverbeek, in Belgium, after taking charge of his company when its commander had been hit.

Anderson was buried south of Evangelieboom, together with eight others, mostly men of the Royal Irish Rifles. After the war their bodies were exhumed for reburial, but by then it had become impossible to separately identify them. They were therefore reburied together at Harlebeke New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, grave X.B.4. His gravestone inscription reads:

20TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 23



Anderson 2

The Irish Times, 9 November 1918


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