Sergeant William James Denton Milson 7813 D.C.M. 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.
This story was submitted by Andrew Hume Voegeli. Serjeant Milson was the brother of his maternal grandmother Lily Muriel Boyes (nee Milson) born in Beverley in 1896. William James Denton Milson was born on the 1st of February 1890 in the Parish of St Mary’s Beverley Yorkshire. He was the eldest of 6 children, his father was William Carr Milson and his mother was Ann Maria Milson, nee Cooper.
His father was a boot maker but did serve in several regiments including the Yorkshire Regiment. Young William enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment aged 14 years and 7 months on the 24th of August 1904 as a drummer boy. He was 4 feet 11 inches tall, had a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He was working as a message boy at that time. Before the outbreak of World War 1 he served in India.
On the 6th of October 1914 he landed at Zeebrugge and took part in the 1st Battle of Ypres. By 1915 his leadership skills led to his promotion to Serjeant. On the 15th of March 1915 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.) for leading a rescue party for men trapped under continuous sniper fire.
The Yorkshire regiment gazette recorded this as follows:
“D.C.M.s have been awarded to Sergt Milsom, Cpl Wilson and Pte Howard for their work when the Boche’s mine was exploded at Givenchy on the 29th of November. The Brigadier at a special parade congratulate and the battalion.” His surname was incorrectly spelt Milsom!
In 1916 he was deployed to the southern sector of the Somme, west of the village of Maricourt. After a week of heavy bombardment of the German lines, the 1st of July saw the beginning of the Somme offensive. Milson was badly injured and sent to the hospital at Corbie. On the 4th of July he died of his wounds aged 26. He is buried in the Corbie communal cemetery extension (plot 1, row B grave 23), his grave inscription reads “He gave his life freely for God and his country in his arms securely folded”.
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