1st. Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment

William was one of twelve children born to George and Rosalie Samways. George was a shepherd and the family moved around Dorset following his work.

William was born in Piddlehinton and in 1901 he was living with his family at Maiden Castle Farm. Ten years later the family was living at The Old Turnpike House, Crawthorne, Dewlish. George and son Walter were working as shepherds, while William was employed as a general farm labourer. Between 1911 and 1914 the family moved yet again –this time into Bridport and they lived at 2 Gresham Place, West Allington, Bridport.

When war broke out, William went to Dorchester and enlisted with the 1st. Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment and he served in France and Flanders taking part in the Somme Offensive of 1916. William died on the first day of that offensive.

He was one of almost 20,000 men who lost their lives on July 1st 1916 – the worst day for casualties in British Military History.