Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

When the call went out for volunteers to join the army at the outbreak of World War 1, the majority of those who responded were under 25 years of age. Two years later it became necessary to introduce conscription across a wider age range. It was at this point that William McCrerie, who was by then 35 years of age, enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers, though it is not known whether he was actually conscripted.
William had been living with his father Thomas, a widower, at 62 St. George's Square, Portsea in 1911. Both were described in the census of that year as wood turners and both gave their place of birth as Marylebone, London. They had been living in Portsea for between 10 and 20 years at that time having previously been resident in Marylebone.
In October 1917 William was posted to the Western Front where he took part in heavy fighting at the third battle of Ypres. He was reported missing on the 30th October and in the absence of further information was assumed killed on that day.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Private William Wallace McCrerie (67991), 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, died 30/10/1917, aged 36 years. Son of Thomas Wallace McCrerie, of 62, St. George's Square, Portsea, Portsmouth. Remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 28 to 30 and 162 to 162A and 163A).
William Wallace McCrerie is also remembered on the St. George's Church WW1 memorial and the Cenotaph. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X, p. 144.
Tim Backhouse
December 2013