On this day in 1917, Lieutenant William John Peters (1884-1917) was killed in an attack on German defences at La Coulotte in France.
William, who was 32, was one of more than 70 officers and men killed in the attack.
Serving in the 1st Battalion (11th Foot) of Devonshire Regiment, he was awarded the Military Medal in 1916 for gallantry and devotion to duty.
He received the medal after keeping a Trench Mortar Battery in action under very heavy artillery fire.
His death was reported in The Western Times on May 5, 1917 in a Roll of Honour and in a brief article in which they described him as a ‘smart soldier’.
William served in the Army for 15 years and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1914.
He served in the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from October 10, 1915.
He had been in the Army for a number of years before the war.
In 1911, he was a sergeant in the 2nd Devons in Malta.
William is remembered on the Arras Memorial in France and on Ashprington and Chulmleigh War Memorials.
A picture of William is published on Find a Grave and can be found on the following link: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124929599/william-john-peters
His brother, Herbert George Peters (1891-1916), died from wounds at the British Army Hospital in Boulogne on September 20, 1916. Aged 25, he was serving in the Canadian Army.
Born in Ashprington Devon in 1884, William was the son of thatcher John William Peters (1855-) and Bessie Sandford (1857-1950). He married Amelia Hotten (1890-1934) on December 31, 1913 in Exmouth. Amelia was living in South Molton Street, Chulmleigh when William was killed in France.
William’s brother, Herbert married Florence Alice Roberts in York, Toronto on May 31, 1912 – just four days after emigrating to Canada. Florence was the daughter of William Roberts (1855-1923) and Elizabeth Eliza Sage (1855-1908). William was the eldest son of John Roberts (1829-1919), my great-great grandfather, who had 30 grandsons serving in the Great War.
Arras Memorial, on which William is remembered, and Fauberg-D’Amiens Cemetery. Photographed on September 7, 2010 by Carcharoth (Commons) – CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arras_Memorial_and_Fauberg-D%27Amiens_Cemetery_14.JPG