William George Flippance 1881-1916
William Flippance’s background has been researched mostly online but with reference to the Parish Magazine and the Burbage & Easton Royal, Royal British Legion Book of Remembrance. There are inconsistences; please let me know if I’ve got it wrong!
William George Flippance was born during the Autumn of 1881 and his birth registered in Pewsey, which at the time included Burbage and Milton Lilbourne. The son of Henry and Janet (nee Pearce), he grew up in Milton with his younger sibblings. The 1891 Census records the father’s occupation as Agricultural Labourer.
William joined the Coldstream Guards in December 1900 and was at the Guards Depot, Caterham for the 1901 Census. His attestation papers tie his date of birth, and the names of father, mother and siblings to the 1891 Census. William served with the Coldstreams until December 1908 both at Home and overseas where he was awarded the South Africa War Medal with Clasp ‘Cape Colony’ and the South Africa 1902 Medal.
By 1911 he was back with his parents at Westwick, Pewsey where he worked as a cowman. He married Minnie Compton in the spring of 1912. In March 1915, the Parish Magazine reported that William G Flippance was serving with the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. He later joined the 5th Battalion and entered the Balkans theatre of operations on 12th July 1915.
5th Battalion War Diary Excerpt
|Entry||Advanced 4.20a.m. Direction lost on left owing to sniping and small marsh and Turkish starlights coming from disputed direction. Lost our bearings after machine gunfire. Confusion in darkness. Troops dug in about 650yds from enemy. All day and night lines strengthened by men coming in from front. Many wounded crawled in and many were collected. 18077 Pte. J.H. Nelson and 9842 Pte. W.G. Price displayed conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in collecting wounded and evacuating them. They have been recommended for the DCM. Capt Robertson collected Battn. together as far as possible. Casualties. Killed:- Lt. Col R.C.B Throckmorton, 2/Lt J.E. Binns, Wounded 2/Lt. V.M.W.W. Vreidenbury, 2/Lt. C.C. Webb. Missing:- Capt. J.W. Greany DSO, Capt L.W. Murphy, 2/Lt. D.E. Cruikshank afterwards reported wounded, 2/Lt. Gilborne, 2/Lt. H.S. Diggers. Other ranks:- Killed 21 Wounded 161 Missing 37|
William died on 9th April 1916 whilst serving in the Balkans with the 5th Battalion. He was one of 21 killed that day near Sannaiyat, Mesopotamia. His name is recorded on Commonwealth War Graves Commission Basra Memorial, Iraq and on the Burbage War Memorial .