William Arthur Floy, Rifleman R/12523, 7th Bn. King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Killed in action 4th April 1918 in France, aged 20
William Arthur Floy was born in Macclesfield on 13 May 1897, the son of Mary and James Floy, a labourer at Macclesfield Corporation gasworks. In 1901 three-year-old William was living at 2 Foden Street, Macclesfield with his parents and brothers John Henry (8), James (7) and Frederick (1).
William baptised at Christ Church, Macclesfield on 3 November 1903 at the same time as his younger brother Frank, born 26 September 1903.
The family was still living at 2 Foden Street in 1911; nine children had been born between 1901 and 1911: George Edward (9), Albert (8), Frank (7), Alice (6), Walter (4), Ernest (3), Herbert (2), and five-month-old twins Jessie and Fred. The 1911 census records that James and Mary had been married for 19 years and had 17 children, 5 of whom had died. Of the older children, only James was still living with his parents and eight other siblings in the four-room property; thirteen-year-old William, who was employed as a cotton weaver, was living at 10 Fowler Street with his grandmother Lucilla Floy and three of her sons, William, Arthur and John.
By the time William joined the Army in 1915 his parents had moved to 9 Hibel Rd, Macclesfield; they later lived at 5 Hibel Rd, Macclesfield.
William attested at Chester on 3 May 1915, joining the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He stated that he was employed as a lamp man and was described as 5 feet 8½ inches tall with a 29½ inch chest. He was drafted out to France only four months later on 17 September 1915.
William was wounded in the foot on 11 February 1916 and was transferred to hospital at Camieres. He returned to the UK on 2 March 1916 on hospital transport ship Copenhagen and was subsequently treated at the North Staffordshire Infirmary, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent. After recovery William was granted a furlough and allowed to go home between 27 April and 6 May 1916. Notes in his medical records show that he was expected to be fit for overseas duty within three months.
On 23 August 1916 William was drafted out to France again, and two months later, on 28 October 1916, he was treated at No 43 Field Ambulance station for three days for deafness.
One year later William was granted leave to return to the UK between 27 October and 6 November 1917.
Rifleman Floy was killed in action on 4 April 1918; the exact circumstances of his death are not known.
Rifleman William Floy has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 61 to 64 of the Pozieres Memorial, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Rifleman William Floy, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of John Henry Floy, who served as L/Cpl 13803 with the RAF, and James Floy, who served as Private T/418798 with the Army Service Corps.
Nephew of Arthur Floy, who served as Private 17880 with the 9th Cheshire Regt, and John Floy, who served as Private 291825 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast): Christ Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WW1 British Army Service Records 1914-1920
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division