William Lever. South Lancs Regt

1886 Jan 10. Born Isle of Wight

His background is difficult to plumb. From his indistinct service record one can see that his "step-father" was Alfred Benewith (who married Mary Lever in Isle of Wight in 1889, he was a sergeant in KRRC) 1891 census has his mother now married to Alfred Benewith and the two stepsisters Florence and Bessie, William is not there) I suspect he was an illegitimate birth. It is probable that Benewith was not the father. He had 5 step brothers and sisters.

1901 Feb 7. Attests to RGA Militia in Newport, I of W. Claims to be 17years and 9 Month

1901 Mar 19. Goes on to enlist in KRRC

1901 census He is given as an "18 year old" recruit in the Barracks Winchester

1904 Mar 21. Enlists in Grenadier Guards, he has already enlisted in KRRC and dismissed as underage. His Service Record survives for this engagement

1906 Jan 6. Married in Isle of Wight - 3 children - Parish Church, Northwood, Nr Newport, Isle of Wight. Married Eliza Smith, who died in 1936, so they must have divorced as he re-married. He had 5 step brothers and sisters.

1911 census sees him as a Private in Wellington Barracks, London, 1st Grenadier Guards. He is married, born Newport, Isle of Wight

1913 Mar 12. Transfers to Reserve at the end of his 9 years in the Colours

1914 Aug 5. Mobilised.

1914 Oct 6. Lands in France

1914 Nov 2. Gun Shot Wound to right forearm

1914 Nov 17 Returns to UK

1915 Nov 22. Appointed L/Cpl

1915 Dec 7. Appointed Acting Cpl

1916 Dec 4. Appointed L/Sgt

1918 May 3. Commissioned 2nd Lt

1920 Jul 30 Joined ADRIC with service no 31

1920 Oct 30 Resigned ADRIC "own request"

1922. There was a letter from Herts County Council from 1922 asking his regiment if they knew where to find him.  Apparently he owed rent on a smallholding as well as a loan.

His wife took him to court for not paying any maintenance at the beginning of 1922 and he was told if he didn't pay up he'd go to prison - so I presume that's why he fled on 10 April 1922! ... and his descendents know that he didn't get divorced before (or indeed after) leaving England.

1922 Apr 10. Leaves London bound for Fremantle, a "farmer" travels 3rd class on SS Moreton Bay. He intends to settle in Australia. Gives address of 5 Upper Porchester, Edgeware Rd, London

1922 Dec 12. Married a second time at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia to Rita Edith St George (nee Paull)

1954 Dec 21 Married a third time to Lilian Annie Piggin (nee Casseldon)

1958 Apr 14. Died at Flat 52, Ballina, Darley Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia

 

ADRIC