William John Hallimond

Name

William John Hallimond

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

22/04/1915
31

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Private
7978
Canadian Infantry
2nd Bn.

Awards

Not Yet Researched

Cemetery/Memorial

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Panel 10 - 18 - 26 - 28.
Belgium

Headstone

>Not Researched

UK Memorials

St Matthew’s Church Memorial, Oxhey, Not on the Bushey memorials

Pre War

Born on 9 May 1884 in Bushey, Herts on 9 May 1884, William John Hallimond was the son of John Greener and Annie (née Foggitt) Hallimond. His parents were married in 1876 in the Darlington, Co Durham, district and initially lived in Durham where his father was a coke, coal and iron merchant.


William’s older sister, Mabel, was born there in 1879 and the family employed 2 servants.


Shortly after Mabel was born, the family moved to Hertfordshire, and William’s birth was registered in the Watford district in May 1884.  At around that time his father became involved with the West London Mission, a key Methodist organisation. He became a clergyman, eventually qualifying as a Doctor of Divinity.


At the 1891 census shows Annie, Mabel and William residing at 9, Villiers Road, Oxhey and were ‘living on their own means’. John Hallimond was not present and may already have gone to America, for his family emigrated there the following year, when William was 8 years old.  They left Liverpool on 27 February 1892 and sailed to New York aboard the Umbria.


The Umbria was a fast ship, gaining the prestigious Blue Riband in 1887 for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. She was later chartered by the government in 1887 and used to carry armaments and troops for the Boer War. She was decommissioned in 1910 and broken up for scrap.


In 1900, when William was 16, the family were living in Montclair Town, Essex, New Jersey. However, by1901, they had moved to New York and his father was now involved with The Bowery Mission, a rescue mission located in the Bowery neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City. It provided food, shelter, medical services and employment assistance to poor homeless men. Supervision of the Mission went to John Greener Hallimond, who introduced many innovative services, such as a home for women in Brooklyn, an employment agency and a breadline, which began in 1902.


William qualified as a civil engineer and may possibly have been a student at Princeton University in New Jersey. By 1910, he had moved to Canada and it was there that he enlisted as a machine gunner in the Canadian Infantry.

Wartime Service

William attested at Valcartier, Quebec on 22 September 1914 with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He served as Private 7978 in the 2nd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment). He was 30 years old, gave his occupation as a Civil Engineer and was of medium complexion, 5’ 8 ½” tall, a chest size of 38 ½”, had blue eyes and dark hair. He was also recorded as being active in the militia. His father was named as his next of kin, living at 227 Bowery, New York, NY. 

William sailed from Quebec on 4 October 1914 on the SS Cassandra. Built in 1906 this ship took part in the WW1 Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaign and rescued 700 passengers from the SS California when it was torpedoed.

William served in Belgium and was reported missing during an attack at St Julien, near Ypres, where the first German gas attack took place. He was presumed to have been killed in action, age 31, on 22 April 1915.

William is commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial to the Missing.  Although he had not lived in England since he was a boy, there must still have been a connection with his birthplace because he is also commemorated on the memorial at St Matthew’s Church, Oxhey.

The address for his father in William’s service records is updated a few times with different locations in Belmar, New Jersey, including; 705D St., 703 North Lake Avenue and 407, 8th Avenue. The sequence of these changes is not clear.

Additional Information

Information provided with the kind permission of Bushey First World War Commemoration Project – Please visit www.busheyworldwarone.org.uk.

Acknowledgments

Andrew Palmer
Dianne Payne - www.busheyworldwarone.org.uk, Jonty Wild, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca