Private William Richard Brown Way

Service Army Service No. 27046
Rank Private
Regiment:Somerset Light Infantry, 7th Battalion
Date of Birth: 28/04/1881
Born Dawlish
Date of Death: 14/02/1918
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription WAY W. (M.M.) PTE SOM L.I.

Service History

William Way enlisted at Torquay and was originally attached to the Devonshire Regiment (Private 21068). After initial training he may have been sent to France and then re-allocated to the Somerset Light Infantry if their numbers had been depleted in action. The 7th Battalion Somerset L.I. was part of the 61st Brigade, 20th (Light) Division which was to be engaged at the Battle of St Quentin when the German Spring Offensive began on 21 March 1918.
The action in which William Way was killed is not so far identified and a check on regimental diaries at Kew might reveal this. He is also shown on the Devon Roll of Honour to have been awarded the Military Medal, although this does not appear on the website of the CWGC. His Medal Rolls Index Card shows only that he was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal, and so further research is needed.

He is listed in The London Gazette dated Tuesday 18th December 1917 among those in Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch of 7th November 1917 “deserving special mention, published in a Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday, 14th December 1917.”

Association with Dawlish

William Way was born in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1858 (GRO ref Crediton, vol 5b, p 374) and married Matilda Jane Brown (born in Bridford, Devon in 1856) on 26 September 1880 (GRO ref Newton Abbot, vol 5b, p 259). The marriage was conducted at the Register Office in Newton Abbot and neither partner was able to sign their names. Their addresses were given as Park Street, Dawlish and their fathers were labourers. The Bride entered her name simply as Jane Brown and her father as Simon Brown.

William Richard Brown Way was born on 28 April 1881 at Queen Street, Dawlish. He was baptised at St Gregory’s Church, Dawlish on 9th May 1881 and his birth was officially registered by his mother on 30th May.

In 1891 the family had moved to 2 Stacey(?) Cotts, Temperance St, Tormorhan, Torquay and their family was recorded there as:

William Way, Head, 35, (1858-1898) a general labourer

Jane Way, wife 37, (1856- )

William Richard Way , 10, (1881-1918) born Dawlish

Alfred Simon Way, son, 7, (1883-1957) “

Albert (Bertie) Way, son, 5, (1886- ) “

Frederick Way, son, 2, (1888-1959) “

Devon Roll of Honour Way, W, M.M., Pte, Somerset L.I.
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: brother, Frederic Way
Last Known Address: 7 Madrepore Road, Torquay

Somerset Light Infantry badge

Commonwealth War Graves Commission site

Way and Ford family tree by June Snell (see Appendix to Frank Morrish entry) and connection to George Shelston 

The London Gazette

Frank Morrish, Life story, q.v.,

Edward Doble, life story, q.v.,

Marriage and Birth certificates from General Record Office

Free birth, marriage and death refs

Refs via subscription website;

Census records

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War

UK, Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects

Medal Rolls Index Cards

JervisVosperBeable family tree – Ancestry

Mardles Ashburton family tree - Ancestry