William James Lewis was the son of William and Isabella Lewis, and was born in Corsley, Wiltshire in 1886.
By 1891, the family had moved to Kingsey, near Thame, where his father was employed as a gardener at Tythrop Park. William was educated at the Royal British School in Thame, and from there he went on to become apprenticed to Mr F G Hawkins’ clothing establishment in the Cornmarket.
He later took up jobs in Coventry and Nuneaton, before becoming a manager of a business in Bognor, Sussex. In 1915 he married Clara Bowman.
He was a member of the Bognor Red Cross Corps, and served for some time in Graylingwell war hospital, Chichester, before being called up in November 1916, joining the Household Battalion.
On Easter Monday, 9th April 1917, in sleety weather, the battalion, as part of the 10th Brigade in the 4th Infantry Division were allotted the task of advancing along the swampy banks of the Scarpe river near Arras, to the ruined hamlet of Fampoux, then under German occupation.
Corporal Lewis was killed by shrapnel, most likely on the 9th April (not 11th as the CWGC), while dressing the wounds of one of his comrades.
He is buried in Mindel Trench British Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy, and is commemorated on the war memorial in St Nicholas Church, Kingsey.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Mindel Trench British Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy, Pas de Calais, France on 28th September 2016 by Mike, Sylvia & Stephen Rains