NUNN, William

No.7739, Private, William NUNN
Aged 23

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 5th February 1915

Willie NUNN was born in Barrow (2nd qtr 1892 Thingoe 4a:764) son of Samuel James and Laura Jane NUNN (née WATSON)

1901 census...Aged 9, He was at Bythorpe, Barrow with his father Samuel NUNN [38] farm labourer born Hargrave; his mother Laura [30]; sisters Sarah [11], Mabel [10] Alice [5] and Violet [3]; brothers Charles [4], George [4] and Frederick [1]. All except his father were born in Barrow

His father died in 1909

1911 census...Aged 20, he was a private in the 1st battalion, Suffolk Regiment in Egypt. His widowed mother was still in Burthorpe with his sisters Violet, Phyllis [6] and Zena [3]; brothers George, Frederick, Walter [9], Samuel [7] and Ernest. All 13 of Laura's children survived.

His legatees were his mother Laura J and siblings. His brother Charles William, in the same battalion, was killed later the same month see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds

The battalion were at Blauwepoort Farm. War Diary has:-
"Blauwepoort Farm 5th Feb...HQ of Battn with A and B Coys arrived at 12:20 am from Ypres. At 12:40 am reported to Bde HQ our arrival. C and D Coys under Capt Cooper moved off at 1 am to occupy 2nd line of defence and to get touch with the EAST YORKS and KOYLI
At 1:15 am Lieut Harris returned to Battn HQ at Blauwepoort Farm and reported he had found the EAST YORKS and KOYLI in a wood. Capt.Cooper with D and C Coys arrived at the support trenches which were occupied by about 40 men of the E Yorks under the command of a Major. 2 Coys of E YORKS wee in the firing line and had not been relieved and were at ROUGENTHAL. Capt Cooper took over trenches and the 40 men of E YORKS moved out.
VERBRANDENMOLEN FARM 4 am Arrived at HQ 2nd Chechire Regt. Relief of 2 Cheshire Regt in the trenched completed 6:12 am, reported this to 24th INF BDE HQ. Telephone communication with B Coy on W of railway already laid also one with HQ Bde. Communication with D Coy on right obtained bymmeans of Private Regtl Telephone
8 am... Telephone communication with B Coy broke down
10:45... Repaired
11 am ..Everything report quiet, sent into Bde HQ at 10:40 a request for wire, sand bags, tape and 40,000 rounds ammunition. Casualties to date 1 man killed and 2 wounded
1 pm.. Battn HQ heavily shelled, no damage done but two shells (High Explosive) came very close to house and shook us a good deal, don't thnk it will be long before this house is knocked down by a shell and if so we shall all be killed or buried alive. A most dangerous position as German guns seem to have got the range fairly accurately.
4:45 pm..Received message from Capt Cooper D Coy right of line, that B Coy E YORKS on his right had retired into his trenches and he had heard that E YORKS had ordered retirement and that he, Capt Cooper, was going to see what could be done.
4:50 pm Capt Cooper reported that "YORKS have retired into our right trench, am holding on, attack by Germans on my right flank"
This information sent to Bde HQ and also to 1/2 Battn. 2nd Cheshire Regt at BLAUWEPOORT FARM and HQ were ordered to send the 1/2 Battn to reinforce our right flank.
Instructions were issued to Coys to hang on to present line, but that if the battn should be forced to retire, the 2nd line should be taken up.
6pm...Urgent requests received from Coys for ammunition and forwarded on to Bde HQ. 2 Coys 2nd Cheshires from Blauwepoort Farm passed Battn HQ at 6:50 on way to support D Coy
Mesage received from D Coy that they were holding on alright and no German advance could be seen on the right
7 pm...D Coy reported that he had thrown back a machine gun and one platoon to trench running at right angles to the right. KOYLI who had relievd the E Yorks are to build up their traverse. KOYLI report that YORK and LANCS on their right had retired tonight and occupy the whole of their trench. Further urgent demands for more ammunition.
7:50 pm.. D Coy reports that KOYLI returned to the trenches they had evacuated
8:40 pm..Message recieved that ammunition was coming from YPRES. Ordered Coys to send guides to Battn HQ to guide carrying parties to trenches.
9 pm... Ammunition arrived at Bn HQ, sent 16 boxes at once to D Coy and later the remainder to C and B Coys. 11 ppm...Rations arrived by fatigue party of 2 Cheshire Regt but had to wait for guides from Coys to come back. Cheshire men who had been 48 hours in trenches the day before were absolutely dead beat and owing to this the task of taking rations, ammunition etc to trenches was very difficult, so much so that many stores were dumped in communicstion trenches etc and had to be collected afterwards by men from the firing line"

William was one of just 2 men of the battalion killed that day

William Nunn is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres panel 21

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details