emembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Private William John Chalkley, 11th (Service) Battalion, the Essex Regiment, was killed in action near Bapaume in France.
He had enlisted in January, 1916, at Canning Town, with the Royal West Surrey Regiment. After training and being sent to France, he transferred to the 13th (West Ham) Battalion of the Essex Regiment. Private Chalkley was hospitalised in February of 1917 with trench foot, and later that year was wounded in action and sent home to England to recuperate. In February of 1918 his battalion ceased to exist, so he was transferred to the 11th (Service) Battalion.
On the day of his death, while in the Corps Line north of Morchies, a small village north-west of Bapaume, he and others of his battalion were overwhelmed and killed when German soldiers made a pincer attack. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Arras Memorial at Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery in France. The photograph was taken when he was home on leave in the autumn of 1917.
William, from Plaistow, was 25 years old.