Search our records : William Carslake

Surname: Carslake
Forename(s): William
Service Number: 241746
Force: Army
Unit: 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Date of Death: 19th June 1917
Where Buried / Commemorated: Arras Memorial
Civilian Occupation: Butcher's assistant
Parents: John and Annie Carslake
Home address: Crewkerne

William Carslake was born in Colyton in 1896.   He enlisted in the Army at Hounslow in Middlesex, but at the time he was living in Crewkerne. 

At the time of the 1901 census, William was living in Ridgeway, Colyton, with his parents John and Annie and his five brothers and sisters, the eldest of whom, George, was killed on the Somme in 1916.

By the time of the 1911 census, William had two more brothers and another sister, and the family was living in No. 4 Manor Cottages, Seaton.  William, aged 14 at this point, was working as a butcher's assistant.

William must have moved away from this area after April 1911, as he enlisted in Hounslow in Middlesex, but gave his address at the time as Crewkerne.  In addition, he found himself in the 5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, a Territorial unit which recruited from the north of Lincolnshire, with its main base in Grimsby.  However, we can be sure that this is the correct man, as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records only one William Carslake as having been killed in the First World War in any of the armed forces.

William's battalion landed in France on 1st March 1915, arriving at Le Havre.  In January 1916, they sailed from Marseilles to Egypt, but bizarrely returned to France the following month. 

In early June 1917 William's battalion was behind the British lines near Bethune, in northern France. There they rehearsed the attack they were due to make on 12th June at Lievin in the coal mining area near Lens.  On the 12th, two officers and 80 other ranks from the battalion carried out a raid on German positions near slag heaps at Lievin. 

On the evening of the 18th June, the battalion relieved the 1/5th Leinster Regiment in the front line.  Next day they carried out a joint attack with Canadian troops, as part of a larger operation.  The battalion war diary entry for that day shows their casualties:

12 Other Ranks killed            4 Died of Wounds          

55 Other Ranks wounded     1 Missing

2 officers wounded

William was one of those killed in that attack.  He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, one of almost 35,000 men killed in the Arras area and who have no known grave.