WILLIAM MYCOCK 

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 56374.
Regiment: 14th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Formerly: 10856, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds Wednesday 15th August 1917 Age 25County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY
Grave\Panel Ref: XXII.P.19
France

Son of Mr. Thomas Mycock and Mrs Adelaide Mary Mycock, of 28, and 30, Dane Street, Congleton, Cheshire and 76, Lawton Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had three sisters, Betsy Ann, Mary Emily and Ethel Mycock, along with one brother, Thomas Mycock. In 1911, he worked in the family business as a Butcher.

Lance Corporal Mycock was amongst the first to answer the country's call to arms, enlisting on the 13th of August 1914 and after training some nine or ten months in England was drafted out with the 8th Battalion Cheshire Regiment to the Dardanelles. He was seized with an attack of dysentery and after being in hospital in Egypt a short time re-joined his regiment on the Gallipoli Peninsula. From there he was drafted to Mesopotamia and he took part in the relief of Kut, where our men suffered terribly.

It will be remembered that the report of the Mesopotamia Commission was in many respects sensational and reference to the breakdown and inadequacy of the medical arrangements, it was considered the most painful document issued in connection with the war. Lance Corporal Mycock was again overcome by the same complaint and was invalided home on the 1st of January 1917. On the 25th of May he was sent out to France where he for the third time suffered from Dysentery. Later he was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal William Mycock of the 14th Battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and part of the 38th Division was involved in the Battle of St Julien and Pilckem Ridge which began on the morning of the 31 st of July 1917, when the attack was launched at 03:50 hours The advance was covered by accurate artillery fire from a great number of guns, The Allied infantry entered the German lines at all points, The German barrage was late and weak and the casualties were light. South of Pilckem, the Welsh troops broke up a Prussian Guards Battalion that offered only slight resistance and Pilckem was captured. Fighting continued in other areas, but in all cases the enemy's opposition was overcome. At 09:00 hours the whole of the second objective, that on the north side of the Ypres to Roulers Railway were in British hands, apart from a strong point north of Frezenberg, known as Pommern Redoubt where fighting was still taking place. This was captured within the hour with very few casualties. The field artillery had now moved up and by 09:30 hours were in action in their forward positions. The 39th Division captured St Julien, and from that point northwards the final objectives were achieved. The Welsh Battalions secured the crossing of the Steenbeek. Meanwhile, south of the Ypres to Roulers Railway, very heavy fighting was still taking place on both sides of the Menin Road. Great opposition was encountered in front of two small woods known as Inverness Forest and Glencorse Wood, while in the south a strong point in Shrewsbury Forest held out against attacks until the 1st of August. Counter attacks began to develop later in the day from the south of Menin Road towards St Julien. The enemy suffered great losses during these attacks from accurate artillery fire. At Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood a few tanks managed to reach the fighting line, in spite of the bad ground and joined the action with the infantry. Fierce fighting took place all day, but the British troops held the ridge. 6,100 prisoners, including 133 officers, were captured along with 25 guns, while a further number of prisoners and guns were taken by our allies. Due to heavy artillery fire the troops were compelled to withdraw temporarily from St Julien although maintaining a bridgehead across the Steenbeek, just north of the village. On the 3 rd of August, St Julien was re occupied without serious opposition. During the fighting on the 3 rd of August, Lance Corporal William Mycock received serious wounds from which he later died on the 15th of August 1917 in the St John's Ambulance Brigade Hospital, Etaples, France.

Mrs. Mycock of Ford Street, Warrington and formerly of Congleton has received the sad intelligence that her son Lance Corporal William Mycock of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers has died of wounds received in action. How he bore his suffering as becomes a soldier of the Anglo Saxon race and the manner of his passing is told in the following sympathetic letter from the Sister in Charge of the hospital where he succumbed.

St John's Ambulance Brigade Hospital, A.P.O. S.ll. B.E.F. France.

Dear, Mrs. Mycock,

You will have had a letter telling you how ill you son Lance Corporal W. Mycock 56374 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers was. I am sorry to tell you that early this morning he was much worse and it was found necessary to amputate his left leg, but in spite of everything possible being done for him, he died at 14:30 hours. He recovered from the operation and was quite conscious and comfortable, he was sleeping a great deal but just at the end fell asleep and died very peacefully. He had a few personal things with him which will be sent to you, but you may not get them for a few weeks yet. He was speaking of you yesterday and I was telling him that I should write today, but I did not think that I should have such sad news to give you. He told me to give you his love. Had he lived he would have suffered a great deal. He had lost the one leg and the other foot was so badly injured that I doubt if he could ever have used it, that perhaps later on you may be able to think that perhaps he was spared much suffering and that it was for the best, but you have my very sincere sympathy in your great loss. He was a splendid patient, so good and trying to do everything to get better. Everyone who had anything to do with him thought so.

Yours, Sincerely, Sister. M. H. Balance.

Extract from the Congleton Chronicle 1917

Truly few could have been more severely tried or suffered more privation than the gallant soldier who has passed through the Valley of Death, from the time he first met the common enemy on the Peninsula to the time he received his death wounds in France, he had lived through vicissitudes the like of which the lay mind cannot form the least conception, yet withal he never complained. His letters home were full of cheery optimism and his last thoughts were of those at home. He did his duty with a wholeheartedness that elicited the praise of all. Yes, he was a hero, an unconscious hero at that, throwing the searchlight of a general personality upon his intentions, making him true to his salt. At home he was just the same, true comrade and friend. He was a staunch Churchman and a devout worshipper at St Jame's Church and was a member of Mrs. Saxon's Bible Class.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for the research on William

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016