William James Monger was born on 23 October 1897 at Bullers Farm, Baughurst Road.
His parents were Gilbert and Alice Mary Monger (née North). Gilbert’s occupation was ‘Farm Carter’.
He was the eldest son of ten surviving children: Agnes, Ellen ‘Nellie’ Beatrice, Louisa ‘Tiny’ Mary, William James, Elsie Florence, Edith Ethel, Alice Lilian, Frederick Cyril, Sidney Frank and Iris Matilda.
In the 1901 Tadley Census William was 3 years old and the family lived at ‘Ivy Cottage’ in the lane known variously as Rampton’s, Back or Old Lane, off Bishopswood Lane.
In the 1911 Baughurst Census William was aged 13 years and listed as a ‘Scholar’. The family continued to live at ‘Ivy Cottage’ for many years. ‘Ivy Cottage’ is now known as ‘The Acorns’.
William was unmarried.
Based on his service number, William Monger probably enlisted with the Hampshire Regiment in November 1914 (service number 14263).
On 5 August 1915 he landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, with the 10th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.
In the Hampshire Regiment Journal (October 1915), William Monger is listed as having been wounded on 23 August 1915 while serving with the 10th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment at Gallipoli – again this was probably 21 August (see Herbert Golding, no. 9). It is noted that he was later in the Third Southern General Hospital, Oxford.
After recuperation, he transferred to 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment and was sent to France. He was present with the 2nd Battalion on the night of 1-2 July when they were involved in bringing in the wounded of the 4th Division after their disastrous attack on 1 July (the first day of the Battle of the Somme). William Monger was awarded the Military Medal for helping bring in the wounded. Unusually, his recommendation has survived in the War Diary: ‘No 14263 Pte Wm Monger – On July 2nd 1916 for bringing in nine wounded men from ‘NO MAN’s LAND’. He went out frequently, dressed and carried men into the front trench. On all occasions he has performed his duties under great difficulties with great courage and skill.’
On Wednesday 18 October 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, the 29th Division, together with the 12th Division, assaulted Grease Trench near Guedecourt. The attack commenced at 3.40 am in atrocious weather: pelting rain, trenches deep in mud and even the open ground so slippery and sticky that movement was terribly slow. William is recorded as dying of wounds, the day after the action, four days short of his 19th birthday.
Of the men remembered on Tadley War Memorial, George Garrett, Herbert Golding, William Monger, Alfred Rampton, Leonard Rampton, Ernest Sandford, Louis Stacey, Tom Taylor and George Warren all served with the Hampshire Regiment.
William died on Thursday 19 October 1916, aged 18 years old.
He was buried at Longueval Road Cemetery [F 11], Longueval near Albert, France. The inscription on his headstone reads ‘Rest in peace’.
He is remembered on Tadley and Baughurst War Memorials.
William was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal and 1914-15 Star.
He was also awarded the Military Medal which was gazetted on 21 September 1916.
William’s medals would have been sent to his family.