Second Lieutenant William Narey Boocock, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died of influenza and pneumonia at 77 Pembroke Road, Bristol on 3rd March 1919, aged 26. The family home was at Ben Ryhdding, Warwick Road, Acocks Green and, as a Roman Catholic, he was buried at Olton Franciscan Friary, Solihull.
He was born in Bradford in 1892 and was the eldest of the four children (three sons, one daughter) of parents James Henry (an ironmonger) and Mary (née Narey) who had married in 1891. The three boys – William, Bernard Francis (1894-1984) and John Joseph (1895-1966) were all born in Yorkshire. Their sister, Mary, was born in Acocks Green in 1905.
It’s known that Bernard attended Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, as he was a boarder there at the time of the 1911 census. A brief obituary for William Narey Boocock appears in the Ampleforth Journal, suggesting that he is also likely to have been an Old Boy of the school, sometimes referred to as the “Catholic Eton.”
William appears to have joined his father’s business as well as joining the Territorial Force, being gazetted Second Lieutenant with the 8th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1911. His medal index card shows that he first entered a Theatre of War on 15th August 1914.
He was injured during the first major battle of the war, the Battle of Mons and, as his brother told the Ampleforth Journal in 1919, never really recovered his health. He relinquished his commission in August 1916 on account of his ill health.
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