William Rhodes

Born 1880 – Died 2nd August 1917

Personal History

William Rhodes was born in 1880 at Bitteswell, near Lutterworth, Leicestershire to William and Harriet Rhodes, their youngest child and only son. William senior was a gardener and at that time was working in the gardens of the Manor House, Bitteswell. By 1891 he had returned to his wife's birthplace and was working in the gardens of Cuckfield Place, Sussex. William became a footman. In 1901, aged 22 he was a footman for Ralph Vivian at 15 Grosvenor Square, London. By 1911 he was working for Lord and Lady Mount Stephen at their London house, 17 Carlton House Terrace as well as at Brocket Hall. He never married. No record of attending St John's School

War Record

2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment In 1917 he enlisted at Bedford and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was killed in action on the 2nd August 1917 aged 37. The battalion on that day was involved in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, the opening attack of the main part of the Third Battle of Ypres. Heavy rain had fallen for the previous three days on ground battered by shelling. It was a mud-bath. The results were mixed, some ground was taken, some lost and casualties were heavy on both sides.

War Memorial

He is remembered with Honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial., panel 31 and 33, one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders.. Each night at 8 pm the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate while members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches. The entry in the Bishop’s Hatfield Parish Magazine, Lemsford News for September 1917 reads:- “His friends in Lemsford will be grieved to hear that Private Rhodes, Bed Regt., is reported “Missing”. He was a valued servant of Lord and Lady Mount Stephen, who hope to hear news of him that he is still alive, even if a prisoner.'