William McLean, Private 243054, 1st/5th Bn. King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Killed in action 30th November 1917 in France, aged 23
William McLean was born in 1894 at 12 Shaw’s Brow, Douglas, Isle of Man, the son of Emma Caren and Charles McLean, a general labourer. In 1901, seven-year-old William was living at that address with his parents and siblings Thomas (20), Emma (18), James (13), Robert (11) and Christiana (4). Ten years later the family was living at the same address and William was employed as a messenger boy.
William later left the Isle of Man and was living in Lancashire when he joined the Royal Lancaster Regiment, probably in 1914.
William enlisted with the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) in Darwen, Lancashire, with original service number 18252 (later renumbered to 243054), and was drafted to France on 22 June 1915.
William was wounded in 1916 and was admitted to Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital on 12 September. The hospital admission register confirms his rank, number and regiment and shows that he was aged 22, his next of kin was his sister, Mrs Savage, of 12 Shaw’s Brow, Douglas, Isle of Man, and he was discharged from hospital on 4 October 1916.
During his time in Macclesfield William must have met his future wife, Mary Ellen Dean, whom he married on 2 July 1917 at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield; the couple set up home at 3, Orchard Passage, Macclesfield.
On recovery from his injuries William returned to France and was killed in action on 30 November 1917.
The following year William’s wife Mary gave birth to a son, also called William. Later in 1918, Mary married David Warren at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield.
Private William McLean has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 3 on the Cambrai Memorial, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William McLean, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Isle of Man Births and Baptisms (Find My Past)
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers (Cheshire Archives): St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield; St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital Admission Register Transcription (Family History Society of Cheshire, Macclesfield Group)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website