Private William Henry Holder

Regiment:  4th Battalion Royal Sussex
Service No:   TF/200866 (formerly 4/3152)
Date and place of birth:  2nd qtr 1885 in Midhurst, Sussex
Date and place of death: 1 July 1918

Family background

William Henry Holder was the son of Eliza Ann Holder and was baptised at Midhurst Parish Church on 16 August 1885. His mother was born in Iping, Sussex. In 1911 Eliza Holder (57), single, was working as a charwoman and living with her son William (25), a house painter at June Lane, Midhurst.

Military service

William Henry Holder enlisted in Horsham. He first served in the Balkans from 6 November 1915. By December 1915, the battalion was evacuated to Egypt because there had been huge numbers of casualties from injuries, disease and a dreadful blizzard in the November. The Division had been reduced to 162 officers and 2,428 men, which was about 15% of their full complement. From there, the Division took part in the Palestinian Campaign. By 1918, they had been involved in the Battle of Romani, the Battles for Gaza, and the capture and defence of Jerusalem. In May 1918, the battalion moved to France via Alexandria and there joined the 101st Brigade of the 34th Division. They were billeted near Lumbres and had been reduced to a cadre and were employed training American troops. William Holder was awarded Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.

Death and commemoration

The grave of Private William Henry Holder at Etaples Military Cemetery
The grave of Private William Henry Holder at Etaples Military Cemetery

He died on 1 July 1918.  He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, grave LXVII.F.4. He is commemorated on Midhurst War Memorial and Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church.

Subsequent family history

Elizabeth A Holder died in 1922 in the Horsham district aged 66.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project