Southam in WW1

Centenary Archive

Honouring those who died and all who served


Private William Harold Seckington G/7031

Private Seckington is commemorated on the Southam Memorial although his initials appear to be incorrect on the roll of honour where he is listed as ‘M.W. Seckington’.  The military record of his burial at Esquelbecq Military Cemetery in Northern France confirms his name and origins. He died of wounds following an artillery bombardment at De Klijte, formerly known as La Clytte.

Born in Helmdon in Northamptonshire (a county where the name Seckington frequently occurs especially in that particular village), William lived and enlisted in Southam. Little else has been found about his civilian life other than in 1913, in Southam, he married Edna M. Pym.

He served with 11th Battalion, Queens Royal Regiment and the War Diary for August 1918 shows quite clearly when he died.  Below is a summary of the Diary showing the Battalion’s locations. It indicates their long days and the endless casualties of O.R. (other ranks) even on quiet days:

La Clytte 1st August. 2.00am. Relieved on front line by West Kents. Proceeded to billets in Lappe area.

                                  2.00pm. Baths.

                                  7.45pm. Parade marched to Zevecoten. Relieved East Surry Regiment – complete by 11.45pm.

Zevecoten 2nd-7th August.  Working parties on front line under R.E. Relieved 2.00am on 7th August  – marched to Lappe.

Lappe    8th August.    Baths and ‘cleaned up generally’.

Lappe  9th August.    Training and inspection by Divisional Commander.

Lappe 10th August. Americans arrived. Organised into Battalians: 50% of each. 8.45 pm marched to front line arrived

                                 at 1.15am. Night quiet. 2 O.R. killed, 1 O.R. wounded.

La Clytte 11th August. 4.30am enemy barrage – unsuccessful. Quiet day: 4 O.R. wounded.

La Clytte 12th August. Counter attack – 3.15am. Casualties: Americans 1 killed, 4 wounded. British 2 wounded.

La Clytte 13th August. Enemy artillery at 3.00am put down. ‘Day quiet’ – 1 O.R. killed, 4 wounded.

The O.R. who died on that ‘quiet day’ 13th August at La Clytte was Private William Seckington. He is buried in Esquelbecq Military Cemetery.