William Slater

British army, unit and service number not found

An anonymous soldier

William Slater is one of the men named in the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen.

Family Background

In the 1911 Census William, aged 22 was newly married to Lillian (Lillie) Cragg, and they lived at 9 Orston Lane Cottages Bottesford. He was employed as a farm labourer.

He was born in Granby in the first quarter of 1889 to Thomas Robert Slater and Sarah Ann Slater, neé Whitehead. In 1891, Thomas Robert Slater, a shoemaker born in 1861, and his wife Sarah A Slater, born in 1867, lived at Marriott’s Row, Granby, Nottinghamshire. There were also four children: two daughters Louie b.1886 and Eleanor b.1887, and two sons, William b.1889 and Herbert b.1891. Parents and children were all born in Granby. They were living in Granby in 1901, when Thomas had become a ‘limestone quarryman’ (probably working at Barnestone Quarry), and a third son, Tom b.1897, was added to the census.

In 1911, Thomas was a farm labourer. They still lived at Granby, now with Herbert (a ‘labourer blue lias’), John Thomas (a farmer’s lad) and a fourth son, Albert, born in 1903. William Slater, working as a farm labourer, now lived in Bottesford with his wife Lillie, who was born in 1892 at Dry Doddington, Lincs. They lived in the last of the terrace of cottages (since demolished) on Orston Lane (Bowbridge Lane).

Louie Slater (1887-1954) married Thomas Slater in Bingham in 1910, and they had one son, named John Thomas (Ancestry.co.uk, the Hunt family tree).

There is a record of his father, Thomas Robert Slater, a retired gardener, living with Sarah at The Row, Granby, in 1939. He died at Granby in 1945, aged 78.

Military Records

In the Grantham journal of the 23rd September, 1916, there is the following report: “WOUNDED AT THE FRONT.— information has been received that Lance-Corporal J. T. Slater, about 19, a son of Mr. T. K. Slater, was, about ten days ago, wounded in both legs during his first action. The young fellow is receiving attention in hospital in the Midlands. Earlier the year, an older brother, William Slater, who enlisted from Bottesford, wounded, also the legs, but his progress towards recovery has been consistently satisfactory.”

The main part of this report refers to William’s brother Tom, and their father Thomas Robert (not T.K.) Slater. John Thomas Slater served as Private/Lance-Corporal 17613 1st Battalion RFA, and awarded the Victory and British War Medals. He first enlisted on the 10th December, 1915, at Newark (possibly not yet 18) and joined the army on the 29th March, 1916, at Warwick. Following his injuries, he was treated at Edgbaston Military Hospital, and was permanently discharged on the 12th October, 1917. He died in 1967, aged about 80.

William Slater signed up on 18th September 1915, and was wounded early in 1916, but may well have been able to return to his unit. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to identify the correct William Slater in the medal records. The following are all possibilities, compiled from Medal Index Cards and Service records listed on Ancestry.co.uk and The Imperial War Museum project ‘Lives of the First World War’. There are at least 290 men named William Slater who served, and to date it has proved impossible to find a definitive service record, medal record or silver badge record for the man from Bottesford.

William SlaterPrivate7110Lincolnshire RegimentVictory Medal

British War Medal

William SlaterPrivate44310



Leicestershire Regiment

1st Norfolk Regiment

Victory Medal

British War Medal

William SlaterPrivate21170



Leicestershire Regiment

Labour corps

Victory Medal

British War Medal


William SlaterPrivate31077


Leicestershire Regiment

Leicestershire Regiment

Victory Medal

British War Medal

Silver Badge List date of discharge 2.8.1918 age 35




Manchester Regiment

Notts. & Derby Sherwood Foresters Regiment


Victory Medal

British War Medal



Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters RegimentVictory Medal

British War Medal






Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters Regiment

South Staffordshire


Royal Fusiliers

Victory Medal

British War Medal

WilliamCorporal26768Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters RegimentVictory Medal

British War Medal

WilliamPrivate23981Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters Regiment

2B Balkans prior to 31.12.1915

Victory Medal

British War Medal

1915 Star

WilliamPrivate61042Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters RegimentVictory Medal

British War Medal

WilliamPrivate240836Notts. and Derby Sherwood Foresters RegimentVictory Medal

British War Medal

After the War

In the 1939 register, there is a William Slater, a cement quarry worker who lived at Stathern Road (probably at Harby), with his wife Nellie and three sons, Geoffrey, Horace and Walter. In this register, he gave his date of birth as 13th Dec. 1888, and therefore may not be the man from Granby. But, a man named William Slater died in the Melton Mowbray area 1972: his burial record states that he was buried on the 15th November 1972 at Harby, Leicestershire. It is tempting to conclude that these might have been the same man, and that he might have been the man from Granby, son of Thomas Robert Slater.

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