100 years ago on 5th October 1917 Private William Salway, a resident of Fivehead, succumbed to injuries sustained in battle. Today is the day to remember him.
Private William Salway 202526, 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry.
The Salway family lived in Hill View House, Fivehead and were thatchers by trade. Heman and Harriett had 6 children, 3 of whom were boys who all fought in The Great War.
William was 16 when war broke out, it’s not known when he joined up, but he enlisted in Taunton with the 1st Bn Somerset Light Infantry. He joined his older brother Sidney in the Battalion and they both fought at Poelcappelle, near Passchendaele during the third Battle of Ypres.
The Langport Herald reported that William was wounded in the abdomen on 28th September 1917 and died in hospital on 5th October 1917. Sidney was also wounded that week, his parents receiving notice of their injuries at the same time.
William was just 19 when he died. It was reported in the Battalion War Diary, ‘a satisfactory feature of the day was the way in which the last draft of 200 behaved. Though for the most part only 19 years of age, and never having been under fire before, they showed the greatest keenness and determination and behaved excellently.
William’s brother Sidney and their older brother Leonard, who had moved to London just before the war, both survived.