Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

It is a sad fact that persons with relatively common surnames are less likely to be identified conclusively. In the case of WG Young there is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission record and a National Roll entry in which the same date of death and regiment are written. There is only one person named WG Young to whom both these facts refer. Unfortunately neither mention an age or other personal details though the latter does specify October 1914 as the enlistment date and gives an address of 72, St. Paul's Road. The census of 1911 identifies five persons named Young with initials WG. One is aged 7 years, one is in the navy, one is too old at 50 years, leaving two possibilities.
The first is William George Young, who was the 16 year old son of William and Elizabeth May Phillips from which we may deduce that Elizabeth was his mother and that William George was the son from a previous marriage, especially as William and Elizabeth declare that they had been married for only 14 years. They were living at 3 Delhi Place, Telegraph Street, Southsea and William George was a chemist's errand boy.
The second was William Gareth Young, the 22 year old son of Harry and Mary Young of Ranelagh Road, Stamshaw. Both he and his father worked in the Dockyard, as boilermaker and painter's assistant respectively.
Of course the Census frequently records only the first name and in this instance may have treated WG as simply W Young, in which case there are 16 further possibilities of which 2 or 3 are credible alternatives. However, if we take 'WG' at face value, then of the two options William Gareth was probably less likely to have volunteered in the first wave as he was already contributing to the war effort by building ships. This leaves William George as the most likely person to have joined the Hampshire Regiment and lost his life fighting on the Western Front...
...but we do not know that for certain.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Private WG Young (14001), 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died 24/06/1916. He is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery, (Grave Ref: VI.Q.66.).
WG Young is remembered on the Cenotaph. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X, Page 396, where his address is given as 72 St. Paul's Road, Southsea.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014