Regiment: 14th King’s Hussars
Service No: Sergeant 4203
Date & place of birth: 26 September 1882 in either Petworth or Halfway Bridge, Lodsworth
Date & place of death: 8 January 1916 at Sheikh Sa’ad, Mesopotamia, aged 33
William Henry Bishop, a miller’s son from Halfway Bridge in Lodsworth, enlisted in the British Army prior to World War 1 and served in Bangalore, India. He died in World War 1 fighting the Ottoman Army on the Mesopotamian Front in what is now Iraq.
William Henry Bishop was born on 26 September 1882 in Petworth or Halfway Bridge, Lodsworth and was baptised on 12 November 1882 at St Peter’s church Lodsworth. He was the eldest son of Henry Bishop, a miller originally from Wherwell, Hants, and his wife Caroline née Court from Petworth: they had married in 1881.
By 1891 they were living at Halfway Bridge.
William’s mother Caroline died in 1899 and was buried in St Peter’s churchyard, Lodsworth. His father remarried in 1901 to a Mary Ann from Attleborough, a market town in Norfolk. In 1911 he was still a miller, living with his second wife in Drayton near Abingdon.
William enlisted in the army in Petworth, according to his service number in 1899. By 1911 he was Corporal 4203 in the 14th King’s Hussars ‘B’ Squadron serving in Bangalore, India. The 14th was a light cavalry regiment.
On the outbreak of war the regiment remained in India, seeing its first action a year later, when in November 1915 it was deployed to Mesopotamia in what is now Iraq.
By now William had been promoted to Sergeant.
Death & commemoration
William was killed in action during the Battle of Sheikh Sa’ad on 8 January 1916, aged about 34. The battle took place along the banks of the Tigris River between the Anglo-Indian Tigris Corps and elements of the Ottoman Sixth Army. The engagement was the first in a series of assaults by the Tigris Corps to try to break through the Ottoman lines to relieve the besieged garrison at Kut.
William had no known grave and was commemorated on panel 2 of the Basra Memorial at Al Basrah in Iraq and on the Lodsworth war memorial.