The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

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Private William PAGE, G/11152, 10th Battalion,  Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, accidentally drowned, River Lys, Flanders France, 13th August 1916, age 26.

Born Ramsgate, Kent, son of James Edmund and Mary Page, of 2, Edith Villas, Chapel Road, St. Lawrence, Ramsgate, Kent.

Enlisted 11th November 1915, Ramsgate, Kent, age 25, height 5ft 11 inches, weight 154lbs. Resided 2 Edith Villas, Chapel Road, St. Lawrence,  Ramsgate, Kent. Formerly milk carrier.

Home, 11th November 1915 to 2nd May 1916; BEF, 3rd May 1916 to 13th August 1916.

11th to 18th March 1916, Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot, tonsillitis.


15th August 1916 - Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry held in the Field by order of Lieutenant A Wood Martyn, Commanding 10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, to enquire into the death by drowning of No. G/11152, Pte. Page W "B" Company, 10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment.

President - Capt. G N Watney. Member - Lieut H P Johnson & Lieut F C Turnpenny.

The Court having assembled proceeded to take evidence.

1st Witness - No.G10964, Pte. East G, states: At about 3pm on the 13th August 1916, I went into billet and asked   G/11152, Pte. Page if he was coming for a bathe. We proceeded to the River Lys at the back of the billet and I went in first to see how deep the water was and swam ashore again. I then dived in again off a landing stage and when I came up I found Page had followed me into the water and was in difficulties being out of his depth. I went to his assistance, turned him round and tried to get him to the shore, but found he was too heavy for me. I went under two or three times but could not bring him in. I continued to dive with two comrades but could not recover him.

2nd Witness - No.G9481, Pte. Cheesman T, states: I was washing my feet on the bank of the River Lys when East and Page came down to bathe. Page had only just entered the water when I saw he was in difficulties. I immediately stripped and went in after him but he had already gone under. I tried to recover him by diving but failed. The bank shelves very quickly and there was a strong current in the river.

3rd Witness -  No.G6926, L/Cpl Oxbridge George, states: I was on the bank of the Lys on the 13th August 1916, when I saw Pte. East dive into the river, East came back and dived in again and Pte. Page followed walking. Pte. Page swam about six strokes when Pte. East shouted to him to go back. Pte. Page was immediately in difficulties and when Pte. East went to his assistance he was pulled under. After Pte. Cheesman had failed to recover Page, I went in but also failed to find him.

4th Witness - No.G8689, Pte Crombie W D states: I was on guard on the river bank on the 13th August 1916, I saw Ptes Page and East come down to bathe. I saw Pte Page walk about eight paces out and get into difficulties. Pte. East Pte Cheesman and L/C Oxenbridge attempted to save him but without success. Fifteen minutes later a boat was brought and the body was dragged for but not recovered to my knowledge.

The Court having considered the evidence found that G11152 Pte. Page W met his death by accidentally drowning in the River Lys whilst bathing on 13th August 1916.


Buried at Tancrez Farm Cemetery, I. J. 32., Belgium.


This page was last updated on 10-Feb-2018.

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