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18140   Private William John Telford
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 04/12/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 06/11/1887
Died: 08/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 27
Summary      
William John Telford was the son of Richard and Annie Telford. He was born about 1887 in Dungannon, County Tyrone. The 1901 census records William as age 14 living with the family at house 11 in Brooke Street, Dungannon, Tyrone. William had left school and was working as a linen lapper. Private William John Telford was serving with the 1st Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action in France on the 8th May 1915. He was 28 years old.
Further Information
William John Telford was the only son of Richard and Annie Telford. Richard Telford married Annie Curran on 21st December 1878 in the district of Dungannon.
William Telford was born about on 6th November 1886 in Dungannon, County Tyrone. He was one of five children.
The 1901 census records William as age 14 living with the family at house 11 in Brooke Street, Dungannon, Tyrone. William had left school and was working as a linen lapper. His father was a porter.
Brook Street, Milltown, Dungannon
Family: Richard Telford, Annie Telford, William Telford (born 6th November 1886), Martha Telford (born 3rd January 1890), Harriett Telford (born 19th September 1892), Annie Telford (born 25th July 1895, died 27th August 1898, age 3), Edith Telford (born 27th November 1897).
William Telford was for a number of years with Mr James Davis, Dungannon, in the monumental business.
William was an active member of the Dungannon Brass Band.
William Telford was for 7 years a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, joining around 1907. He was a well known instrumentalist in the Depot band. William resigned around June 1914 to the deep regret of his comrades.
William moved to England and joined the West Riding police force in Yorkshire, but volunteered on the outbreak of hostilities, and enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment
Private William John Telford was serving with the 1st Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action in France on the 8th May 1915. He was 28 years old.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 10th June 1915:
Letters sent to the front by Mr Richard Telford, Milltown, Dungannon, to his son, Private William Telford, of the Royal Lancaster Regiment, have been returned by the War Office, who report that Telford cannot be traced. Private Telford formerly served with in the R.I.C and also on the English police force.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th June 1915:
Mr Richard Telford, Mark Street, Dungannon, received official intimation yesterday that his son, Corporal W. J. Telford, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, was wounded in France on 8th May. Corporal Telford was for seven years a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and was a well-known instrumentalist in the Depot band. He resigned twelve months ago and joined West Riding Police Force of Yorkshire, but volunteered on the outbreak of hostilities, and enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 17th June 1915:
Mr Richard Telford, Mark Street, Dungannon, received official intimation on Monday, that his son, Corporal W. J. Telford, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, was wounded in France on 8th May. Corporal Telford was for 7 years a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and was a well known instrumentalist in the Depot band. He resigned twelve months ago to the deep regret of his comrades, and joined West Riding Police Force in Yorkshire, but volunteered on the outbreak of hostilities, and enlisted in the York and Lancaster Regiment. Letters sent to the front by Corporal Telford's parents had, as stated in last week's Courier, been returned by the War Office.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 14th August 1915:
Mr Richard Telford, Mark Street, Dungannon, has been notified that his son, Corporal W J Telford, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, has been wounded in France. Corporal Telford was for seven years a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and was a well-known instrumentalist in the depot band. He resigned fourteen months ago and joined West Riding Police Force in Yorkshire, but volunteered on the outbreak of hostilities. He was for a number of years with Mr James Davis, Dungannon, in the monumental business, and was an active member of the Dungannon Brass Band.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 19th August 1915:
Much anxiety is felt by the relatives at Milltown, Dungannon of Corporal William Telford (18140), 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, who has missing since 8th May last. The Army Records state he was wounded in France on that date and that his whereabouts are unknown. He had been a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C) for several years and was a well known and popular instrumentalist in the Depot Band. For a year prior to the outbreak of war, he had been a member of the Yorkshire County Police Force, and had volunteered for service with the York and Lancasters at the commencement of hostilities. Corporal Telford was for a number of years with Mr James Davis, Dungannon, in the monumental business and was a member of Dungannon Brass Band.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 21st August 1915: Bandsman Telford Missing
Much anxiety is felt by the relatives in Dungannon of Corporal William Telford (18140), 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, son of Mr Richard Telford, Dungannon, who has been missing since 8th May last. The Army Records state that he was wounded in France on that date and that his whereabouts are unknown. He had been a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.) for several years and was a well-known and popular instrumentalist in the Depot Band. For a year prior to the outbreak of war, he had been a member of the Yorkshire County Police Force, and had volunteered for service with the York and Lancasters at the commencement of hostilities. The British Red Cross have made careful enquiries about him, and have obtained the following report from a corporal of the same battalion, giving a general account of the attack made by the British on the date in question:-
‘On the 8th May the 1st Yorks and Lancs regiments were in huts at Flamertinghe. At 11.30 in the morning we had orders to stand to, and a quarter of an hour afterwards we went to the trenches, and for about three miles after that we were exposed to heavy shell fire. We got into the shallow trench and waited there that day. Then we got orders to fix bayonets, as we were going to attack the trench at eight o’clock that night. We got about 100 yards off from the German trenches, and lay down in the open for, I should think, ten or fifteen minutes. We had lost heavily, and there did not seem anyone to take command. Someone gave the order to retire, and we started to retire from the road and got back to the trenches that we had been in on the morning. We stopped there that night and all the next day and were bombarded all the time. During that day the last officer (there was one after all) Mr Briscoe, got killed, and the Germans came up during that night. The officer’s servants went out to look for their officers but found none. A few wounded men got back, but a lot were left out. We were relieved the following night, I may add that during the whole of this time the shelling was terrific.’
Private William Telford has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
The CWGC record his parents Richard and Annie Telford, as living at Mark Street, Milltown, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone
Mark Street, Dungannon
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Brooke Street (No 11) Dungannon Town South Census listing in Brooke Street 54.501511 -6.76874
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 Census lists Telford family Lists William as age 14 living with the family at house 11 in Broole Street, Dungannon, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists a Richard Telford Possible listing of William's father, a bank porter, living at house 40 in Scotch Street. Dungannon, Tyrone
3 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020