Regiment : Nelson Battalion Royal Naval Division Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Service number : Z3156
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 5th April 1917 aged 28
Buried : Bethune Town Cemetery, France, Grave VI. C. 64.
Relatives : Son of George and Eliza Attwood, 15 Hill St., Hasbury, Halesowen, Birmingham
Memorial : Halesowen War Memorial
William Atwwood was born on 19th May 1891. He enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 16th September 1915 when he gave his home address as Hill Street, Halesowen, near Birmingham, his next of kin as his father, George, of the same address and his occupation as a Fruiterer. William was 5 feet 7 inches tall with brown hair, grey eyes and a dark complexion.
Within a month of his enlistment William received the first of a number of detention and loss of pay punishments, mostly for refusing to obey an order and insolence to an officer. In April 1916 he was treated in hospital at Mudros, Greece for scabies; he received Field Punishment No 1 shortly after his discharge from hospital. On 16th May 1916 he sailed from Mudros on the Ionian, arriving in Marseilles, France where his disobedience once again earned him another 28 days of punishment followed by a further 14 days of the same. His service history records that he was admitted to the 26th General Hospital at Etaples on 27th September 1916 with a diagnosis of nervous breakdown. He was invalided to England and admitted to Netley Hospital as ‘mental’. Discharged in January 1917 he was posted back to France where further punishments and hospital admissions continued. William died at the 33rd Casualty Clearing Station at 1.45 a.m. on 5th April 1917 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head with a compound fracture of the skull.