CATES, William Henry

No.27488, Private, William Henry CATES
Aged 29

1st/5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 2nd November 1917

William Henry Cates was born in Woodditton in 1887 (Newmarket Q3-1887 3B:523), son of John James and Emma Eliza CATES (née FORDHAM).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at Dullingham Ley with his father John J CATES [36] agricultural labourer; his mother Emma [28]; sisters Annie M. [7] and Martha E [5] and Annie Elizabeth [1]. They were all born in Woodditton.

1901 census...Aged 15, he was at Ditton Green, Woodditton with his grandmother Mary Ann FORDHAM [72]; his parents, sisters Annie Mary, Martha Emma and Elizabeth, and new siblings Nellie [9], Albert [5] and Minnie [3]. All were born in Woodditton.

1911 census...Aged 23, a farm labourer , he was in Woodditton with his parents, sisters Ann Elizabeth, Nellie and Minnie, brother Albert (farm labourer) and two new brothers, Charles Bennington [9] and Claude Harold [8] both born in Woodditton. Two children of the eleven, Bertha and ? had died.

There seems no reason from the above as to why he is commemorated in Stetchworth and not Woodditton.

He enlisted in Newmarket.

On 2nd November 1917 the 1st/5th Norfolks were in the El Arish area of Gaza. They formed up at 2:50 am on the left rear of the 8th Hampshires who had reached Half Way House. They advanced at 3 am but lost direction, and touch with the 1st/4th on their right and arrived opposite the line Zowaid - El Burj instead of Zowaid - Rafa.This left their right flank in the air and at 3:30 am they were caught in a barrage. Despite the confusion some parties penetrated to Island Wood, Gibraltar and Crested Rock. The Island Wood party were forced due to lack of support to retire. The units became mixed up but lines were consolidated, the 1/5th Norfolk from El Burj to Zowaid.

The 1st/5th Norfolks had 38 killed, most are buried in Gaza War Cemetery, but 11 are commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial.

William Cates is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel - panels 12 to 15

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