- Tyne Cot Memorial
- Panneau: 47A
Distinctions et médailles
Private William Naylor Wilson served in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own), 1/5th Battalion, part of the 146th brigade, of the 49th (West Riding) Division. The Division participated in the Battle of Poelcappelle, a stage of the Third Battle of Ypres.
It attacked on the 9th of October 1917. The Division’s attack was carried by the 148th Brigade on the right and the 146th Brigade on the left. The latter deployed the 1/5th, 1/7th and 1/8th West Yorkshire Regiment Battalions during the attack, the 1/6th was kept in reserve. The 1/5th Battalion advanced from positions South of Gravenstafel towards the hamlet of Mosselmarkt, North of the village of Passchendaele, at zero hour, 5.20 a.m.
As soon as the 1/5th West Yorks had crossed the Stroombeek stream they came under machinegun and rifle fire from German pill-boxes and selected positions in shell holes. Most casualties in the Battalion were caused by machinegun fire from Bellevue and Yetta Houses. Notwithstanding the heavy German resistance the first objective, at Peter Pan, was taken at 6.40 a.m. by “A” and “C” Companies of the 1/5th. “B” and “D” Companies then advanced to the second objective, though carrying with them several men from the two first wave Companies. However after the second wave had passed Peter Pan the attack was checked by persistent machinegun fire coming from pill-boxes at the Bellevue stronghold. Several attempts were made to rush these pill-boxes without success. Though the Battalion managed to reach the edges of Wolf Copse it proved unable to capture the German stronghold at Bellevue. Subsequently the 1/5th West Yorks dug in along the edges of Wolf Copse.
The Battalion held these positions till it was relieved during the night of the 10th of October 1917 by the 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifles. Though the German positions at Peter Pan had been captured the advance had been stopped in front of Bellevue. The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 1/5th Battalion suffered a total of 300 casualties during the attack on Bellevue, severely crippling the strength of the Battalion. It went into Battle with 20 officers and 642 other ranks. Two days later only half of the men returned from the frontline. Four officers were killed along with 48 other ranks, eight officers and 182 men got wounded, two officers and twelve men were wounded and missing, while 44 other ranks went missing.
Private William Naylor Wilson was one of the men of the 1/5th West Yorks who was killed in action during the attack on Bellevue. He has no known grave and is remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial.