South Staffordshire War Memorials

Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.

William Riley

William Riley was born at Brineton and was baptised at Blymhill Church on 5th October 1884. He was the son of William Riley, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Sarah. In 1891 the family lived at Lower Beighterton Cottages but after the death of William senior they moved to The Temple, Weston-under-Lizard, and William junior worked for the Weston Estate, first as a Garden Helper, then as a carpenter.

William attested for military service on 13th January, 1916, when he was 31 years old. His mobilization was deferred until June, 1917, when he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. After basic training he was transferred to the Cheshire Regiment but was later attached to 178th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers.

On 21st March, 1918, the Germans launched their Spring offensive which hit the area around Heudicourt where the 178th Tunnelling Company was stationed. William was originally posted as missing, but was later found to have died of a shrapnel wound at the Chief Dressing Station at Cappy on 28th of March. He is buried in Fouquescourt British Cemetery.

Private William Riley 51717 Cheshire Regiment (previously 33841 KSLI) was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.