William Henry Bangs


William Henry Bangs


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Bedfordshire Regiment
1st Bn., attached 15th Machine Gun Company


1914 /15 Star, British War and Victory medals


Pier and Face 2C

UK Memorials

Welwyn Village Memorial, Welwyn
St Mary the Virgin Roll of Honour, Welwyn
Not currently aware of any Gustard Wood memorial

Pre War

Born in Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead, Herts in 1891 to Henry and Jane Bangs. Baptised on 26 July 1891 at Wheathampstead. On 1911 Census was boarding with his mother Jane Bangs, at the home of widow Louisa Knightley and her two daughters, at Farm Yard, (now Mimram Walk) Welwyn and working as a Carter for the Coal Merchant.

Wartime Service

He was one of the first local men to join up shortly after the outbreak of war. He enlisted into the Bedfordshire Regiment at the first recruitment meeting held in St. Mary’s Hall. Welwyn. In December 1915 and January 1916 the 1st Battalion was in action around Bray-sur-Somme, where William was wounded. Clearly a man of some stoic humour he wrote to friend in Welwyn from his hospital bed - ‘I am as well as can be expected. I am in hospital with a wounded ankle from shrapnel. This reminds me of the battle of Hill 60, nine months ago. The 2nd Batt. of the Beds have taken up a position near us, which has proved most unfortunate for them, as they lost about a hundred men, mostly killed, I am sorry to say. Well, Walter, we have about done for our mouth organ. How many can you spare? Send some if you possibly can, as we can make good use of them out here. We can give the Germans a tune now and then while we are in the trenches. We are getting a little better weather now to what we have had’

Additional Information

War gratuity of £8 10s and pay owing awarded to his sister and sole legatee Sarah J Bangs.


Paul Jiggens, Welwyn and District History Society - www.welwynww1.co.uk, Brenda Palmer