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BYKER

Kane, W., Pte., 1915

Strand Military Cemetery: Pauline Priano

Strand Military Cemetery: Pauline Priano

In Strand Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 12238 Private W. Kane serving with the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 09/05/1915.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

William Kane, one of 10 children, was, by 1911, the youngest of his 5 surviving siblings. His father Edward Kane born at Kirkley in 1856 married Ann Jane Armatage native of Dinnington, also near Ponteland, Northumberland. In 1881 they and 10-month old daughter Hannah were living with her parents George and Mary Ann Armatage and Annís mother, widow Ann Sanderson, at The Lodge Birney Hill, George Armature was a cattle dealer, Edward assisted as an agricultural labourer.

Ten years later they had settled at Back Row, Dinnington, where Hannah (10) attended school as did George Edward born 1882 (9), John 1883 (8), Joseph 1886 (4), whilst Mary Ann 1888 (3) and William 1890 (1) remained at home with their mother. By 1901 they occupied 13, Marshall Street, at Byker, a suburb of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland. Edward had abandoned his employment as an agricultural labourer and was now a general labourer. With the exception of Joseph (14), who unfortunately in 1901 was an inmate at the North Eastern Reformatory (for boys), Netherton, Ponteland, all of their children were still living at home. Hannah (20) was employed as a servant, George Edward (19) a builderís carter, John (18) a labourer, Mary Ann (12) and William (11) although of school age are not listed as such.

Ann Jane Kane nee Armatage died in 1903 aged 49 years, her death preceded that of her daughter Hannah in 1908 aged 28 years, both registered in the district of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After his wifeís death Edward returned to Ponteland and found employment as one of 3 servant/labourers with widow Elizabeth Ann Henderson, her sons and extended family at The Grange, his children had all gone their separate ways. Edward Kane died aged 56 years, March 19th 1912, Ponteland, Castle Ward, Northumberland.

When war was declared July 28th 1914 William Kane was living at Byker, near Newcastle, however he chose to enlist at Gateshead and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry as Private 12238. The 2nd was a battalion of the regular Army which indicates he probably had several years' experience as a reservist or in the Territorials. The main body of men departed, attached to the 6th Division, under the command of Lieut. Colonel Bernard McMahon and were the first D.L.I. battalion to see action during WW1. Private Kane was not amongst the first wave, he departed to the front January 26th 1915, part of reinforcements, as by the end of October 1914 the 2nd Battalion had been withdrawn from the front having lost 80% of the original men who had disembarked at St. Nazaire, September 20th 1914. He joined his regiment in the field and once at full strength they participated at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, Match 10th-15th 1915, in the Artois region of France but moved to the Ypres salient in Belgium when the Germans attacked at The Second Battle of Ypres, April 22nd 1915, where they were joined by the newly arrived Territorial of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. As part of the 50th Division in the following months they sustained repeated attacks by the Germans, Private 12238 William Kane died May 9th 1915 and was initially buried at Le Bizet Convent Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, at map reference SL 36. c. 14. a. 40. 6. s.

After the Armistice at the request of the French and Belgian Governments smaller concentrations and isolated graves were brought into larger cemeteries. Le Bizet consisted of 88 burials from the United Kingdom and one from Canada who fell between October 1914-October 1915. Their remains were exhumed and brought into Strand Military Cemetery, 12.5 kilometres from Ypres, Belgium, October 20th 1920 and re-buried with military honours. Private 12238 William Kane Durham Light infantry is at rest grave X. E. 7.

All monies owed to him by the Army were divided amongst his surviving siblings, George Edward and Joseph each received 1 pound 1 shilling 8 pence, Mary Ann and John 1 pound 1 shilling 7 pence each. Awards 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Although all the Kane brothers were eligible to serve during WW1 no records have been found.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

William Kane has yet to be identified on a local War Memorial.

He is remembered in The DLI Book of Remembrance page 113


The CWGC entry for Private Kane

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk