WILLIAM EDGAR TESTER

Private, G/4534, 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action on 24 September 1917 during the Battle of the Menin Road, Third Battle of Ypres, near Ypres, Belgium, aged c.28
He has no known grave and is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial: Panel 86 to 88
 

The 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment 1915
(© Paul Reed)

Private William Edgar Tester, G/4534, 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was born in Forest Row. He enlisted at East Grinstead. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Menin Road, Third Battle of Ypres, on 24 September 1917 near Ypres, Belgium. He has no known grave and is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial: Panel 86 to 88.

In 1911 William Tester was 22 and living in Nutley Road, Forest Row, with his father, William, aged 50, who was a painter's labourer, and his mother, Fanny, aged 52. He was a gardener. His brother, Gilbert, lived at the same address, aged 20 and was a groom. Gilbert died in 1977 aged 86 in Crawley, Sussex.

The 12th battalion was formed on 3 November 1914 by Lieutenant-Colonel Claude Lowther M.P. and Committee. It was known as "Lowther's Lambs".

The "Battle of the Menin Road" was the third British general attack of the Third Battle of Ypres. The battle took place from 20-25 September 1917 in the Ypres Salient in Flanders on the Western Front.

On 23 and 24 September 1917 the Battalion was active in an area known as Tower Hamlets. They were relieving the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment and the 14th Hampshire. They experienced very heavy shelling: 2 officers were wounded; of the other ranks 48 were killed, 117 wounded and 26 listed as missing. It is likely that William Tester was one of these men.

Tower Hamlets remained in German hands after the battle.

The British Army at the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, 24 September 1917.
(Source:warhistoryonline)

Listed on the war memorials in Coleman's Hatch and Hartfield.

Carol O'Driscoll