2nd Lieutenant William Robert Holloway

Service Army
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment:Machine Gun Corps, 69th Company
Date of Birth: 02/11/1889
Born Withington, Lancs
Date of Death: 20/09/1917
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription HOLLOWAY W.E. LIEUT M.G.C.

Service History

William Robert Holloway signed his attestation for Short Service (For the Duration of the War) and swore an Oath of Allgiance in Stoke-on-Trent on 12th May 1915 for service in the Motor Machine Gun Corps. The form shows that he was a Machinist and Electrician and living at 19 Cornford Grove, Balham, London SW. He was not married.

The descriptive report on enlistment show that his father was at the time in Damascus.

William joined and was appointed(unpaid) Acting Bombardier on 2nd July 1915 and promoted to Corporal on 8th August and posted to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on 6th February 1916.

William disembarked at Le Havre on 6th February 1916. He applied for a Temporary Commission on 6th August 1916 from the 19th Motor Machine Gun Battery, B.E.F, France. He had at that point reached the rank of Corporal with a regimental number 1158. His commanding officer gave a character reference for the 15 months in which he had been under his command and stated that “his moral character has been exemplary.” Brigadier General Lecky personally interviewed WRH and recommended him for training at the Artillery Training School.

On 29th August he was accepted for admission to Cadet School in England and ordered to report to S.D.3 War Office, on return from leave granted from 29th September to 8th October 1916.

On 24th February 1917 WRH was granted a Temporary Commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 19th Motor Machine Gun Corps.

A telegram was sent from the War Office on 24th September 1917 to Mrs Holloway, Stockton Road, Dawlish, “ Deeply regret to inform you 2/Lt W R Holloway M.G.C. was killed in action September twentieth. The Army Council express their sympathy.”

Further detail can be seen in Documents, below.

Association with Dawlish

William Robert Holloway was the third William in his family tree. The first, his grandfather, was a licensed victualler. He and his wife were living in Old Alresford, Hants in 1871 with their son William George Holloway (1866-1925) who was born in Marnhull, a small village 3 miles north of Sturminster Newton, Dorset.

William George Holloway began a mobile career and married Lucy Downs (1866-1927) in St Mary’s, Atherstone, Warwickshire on 27 December 1888. In 1891 they were living at 4 Mayfield Road, Levershulme, Lancashire and William George Holloway was a contractor’s timekeeper. The first of fourteen children (of which twelve survived by the 1911 census) was William Robert Holloway who was born at Ladybarn on 2 November 1889. Ladybarn is a small suburban area between Withington and Fallowfield on the edge of Manchester.

William Robert Holloway is shown at the age of 11 with his family at 74 Goshen Street, Devonport where his father was acting as a Contractor’s Cashier. William G and Lucy had eight children at that point.

William R H attended Devonport Technical School in the years of the family residence there and received a reference from the Principal for his application to be considered for a Commission in 1916.

It is not clear where William R H was for the census in 1911 but his mother was living at 2 Ryburn Villas, Rowanfield Road, Cheltenham with ten children, the youngest being George Ian Holloway (1909-1982). It seems possible that his father was working in Scotland.

William Robert Holloway married Elsie Elizabeth Currey by license at the Register Office, Aston, Birmingham on 28th February, 1917. He was 27 and she was 21 and they were living at 205 Bordesley Green. He was able to sign as a 2nd Lieutenant, M.G.C. (Electrical engineer) and Elsie was a munition worker. Neither of the parents signed the register. William made a Will in her favour dated 1st June 1917 which was witnessed by two 2nd Lieutenants in 69 Company, H.G.C.

Elsie Elizabeth Holloway was recognised as the next of kin and declared that a child, William Robert Holloway, was born on 5th February 1918.

Elsie Elizabeth Holloway married again to George H Baker in late 1920 (GRO ref Newton Abbot, 1920 Oct-Dec, vol 5b, page 290a). It is not known if there were further children of this marriage.

Devon Roll of Honour Holloway, W.R., Lieut, .M.G.C., No date or place of death is indicated.
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: widow, Elsie Elizabeth Holloway
Last Known Address: Stockton Road, Dawlish

Machine gun Corps badge
W R Holloway in uniform

Birth Marriage Death refs

Officer Records, National Archives, Kew

Refs via subscription sites:

Marriage refs and certificate

Census records

Clarke family tree - Ancestry