Rank:


Private

Service No(s):


38393 R Fus & 64065 L Corps

Regiment:


Royal Fusiliers & Labour Corps

Unit:

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

St Pancreas, Middlesex

Occupation:

Platelayer for Railway

Date of death:

  1942

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

William

Name of siblings:

Christopher, Frederick, Frank, Grace C.

Name(s) of children:

Constance and Kathleen Louisa Doris

Died:

No

Date of birth:

Place of enlistment:

Event:

Age at death:

57

Cemetery or memorial:

St Mellitus Church

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Louisa

Name of spouse:

Alice Louisa Everett

Address:

1911 = 95 Moray Road, Finsbury Park N.

Biography:

Private William James Winwood  (1885 – 1942)

William James Winwood was an Islington resident.  He was the first born in a family of five children.  His brothers were called Christopher, Frederick and Frank.  Grace was the only girl and youngest of the family.  William was born in early 1885 in St Pancras, Middlesex.  His parents were William and Louisa.  In 1891 the family lived at 38 Andover Road and in 1901 they lived at 13 Bedford Terrace, Tollington Park.

On 21st January 1906 William James married Alice Louisa Everett.  Their first child, a daughter, was born on September 9th 1907 and was baptised in St Mark’s Parish.  William and Alice’s address was listed as 4 Moreland Street on the baptism records.  In 1911 census, William was 26 years old and listed as Head of the house.  He lived with his wife and daughter at 95 Moray Road, Finsbury Park, N.  William’s three brothers also lived with him.  Christopher (24) was a piano key maker, Frederick (20) was a butcher and Frank (18) was a shunter (a railway worker).  In July 1912, William’s daughter Constance died at the age of 5 years old.  William and Alice’s second daughter was born on 17th March 1914.  Kathleen Louisa Doris was baptised in St Mark’s Parish.

Forces War Records have records of only one William J Winwood.  He was a Private in the Royal Fusiliers and then part of the Labour Corps.  He was awarded the Victory and British War Medal.  Forces War Records state:

The Labour Corps was raised in 1915 and disbanded in 1921, today their roles are undertaken by the Royal Logistics Corps.

The Corps grew to some 389,900 men (more than 10% of the total size of the Army) by the Armistice. Of this total, around 175,000 were working in the United Kingdom and the rest in the theatres of war. The Corps was manned by officers and other ranks who had been medically rated below the “A1” condition needed for front line service. Many were returned wounded. Labour Corps units were often deployed for work within range of the enemy guns, sometimes for lengthy periods.

The Corps always suffered from its treatment as something of a second class organization: for example, the men who died are commemorated under their original Regiment, with Labour Corps being secondary. Researching men of the Corps was made more difficult by this until the publication of the mammoth ‘Soldiers died in the great war’ collection where the Labour Corps was finally given it’s own section in volume 80.

Further details of William’s military service cannot be found.  An explanation for this may be explained by an extract from The Long, Long Trial’s history of the Labour Corps:

Army Council Instruction 611 stated that units of the Labour Corps would not be required to maintain a war diary unless the Commander-in-Chief concerned authorised otherwise. This, and the fact that the nominal rolls and other documents were destroyed in the Arnside Street fire in 1940 makes researching a man of the Labour Corps difficult and producing a good analysis of his story a rather sketchy affair.

William died in Islington in 1942.  He was 57 years old.  His wife Alice died in 1967 at the age of 80 years old.  William and Alice’s surviving daughter, Kathleen, married Charles A Engledow.  She worked for the British Postal Service.  Kathleen died on December 18th 2003 in Buckinghamshire, aged 89 years old.

William’s wife Alice also had a brother who served in WW1.  His name was Private Frederick William Everett.  He enlisted at Holborn and served in the Machine Guns Corps.  Frederick died less than a month before the end of WW1 on 18th October 1918.  He was 29 years old and had a son of 4 years old.  Frederick Everett lived at 9 Moreland Street, Finsbury Park, only a few doors away from his sister and her husband’s home listed on Constance’s baptism records in 1907.  Two families not only linked by marriage and locality, but also by WW1 military service.

Private William James Winwood is remembered on the list of returned soldiers on the St Mellitus Church War Memorial.