William Biddulph, 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 3rd September 1918 in Belgium, aged 20
Son of Mr. J. W. and Mrs. E. A. Biddulph, of 19, Nicholson Avenue, Macclesfield.
The death of 2/Lt Biddulph was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 13 September 1918:
We regret to record the death of Second-Lieutenant William Biddulph, Cheshire Regt, only son of Mr and Mrs J W Biddulph, 61 Newhall St, Macclesfield, who was killed in France on the 3rd inst. He only went out on August 13th. Lieut. Biddulph, who was twenty years of age, attended Daybrook Street School and won a scholarship for four years to the Macclesfield Grammar School, where he had a successful career. In his third year he won an intermediate scholarship for a further three years. He was prominent on the sports side, and played football and cricket with the first eleven. In a Civil Service examination he came 50th out of [?] candidates and was appointed a clerk in the office of the Surveyor of Taxes in Macclesfield. Here he remained until he joined the Army and while on service had been promoted by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to the higher grade.
Lieut Biddulph enlisted on March 1st 1917 as a private in the Shropshire Yeomanry and in October entered an officers’ cadet corps at Newmarket. While there he secured two records in the War Office final examination, getting the highest number of marks that had ever been obtained at Newmarket. In one examination he received the maximum number of marks and was congratulated by the Commanding Officer upon the excellency of his papers. He received his commission last April, being gazetted to the Cheshire Regt and was drafted to France on August 13th.
The gallant young officer was connected with St George’s Street Baptist Chapel, being a member of the Young Men’s Class. His parents received the sad news on Tuesday. Three of his uncles are serving, and one has been killed. Much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Biddulph in the loss of a son who was showing brilliant promise.
A memorial service to Lt Biddulph was conducted at St George’s Street Baptist Church, Macclesfield on Sunday 20 October 1918.
2/Lt William Biddulph is buried at Wytschaete Military Cemetery, Belgium, in grave ref. I. A. 10. His mother asked for the inscription “ONLY GOOD-NIGHT BELOVED NOT FAREWELL” to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for 2/Lt William Biddulph, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 13 September 1918, 25 October 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)