NEEDHAM William (Horace)

Known information

William Needham was born in Oakham to William and Elizabeth Needham and later emigrated to Canada. He and his wife Helen were living in Winnipeg at the outbreak of war, where William described himself as a stationary engineer. It appears he was known as Horace Needham and enlisted under that name into the 8th Battalion, Winnipeg Rifles on 8 June 1915, aged 29. He left for France on 27 March 1916 with the 27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. Horace was killed by a bullet near Hill 70 at Loos, while helping a fellow soldier who was wounded (see below), and was buried at Chocques Military Cemetery, grave I.L.42. His widow returned to England with the couple's two children who were later recorded as living at 147 Brooke Road in Oakham. According to the book, Langham Remembers Them by Brenda Burdett, his father had remarried and for a time his wife kept the Wheatsheaf Inn in Langham. William/Horace is on Langham's war memorial as William Needham, which is also the name on his headstone in France.

There is a W Needham on Oakham War Memorial but it is not clear that this is him or whether it refers to a William Frederick Needham, also from Oakham. 

Do you know something about William (Horace) that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.
  • Oakham Church 1
  • Oakham Memorial
  • Oakham Memorial  NE-TA
  • Langham Church
  • Langham RR D-N
  • Chocques Military Cemetery drone 1
  • Chocques Military Cemetery 1
  • Chocques Military Cemetery 3
  • W Needham 2
  • W Needham 1

User contributions

Extract from The Grantham Journal, 25 August 1917.
By cbrandal on Wednesday 1st October '14 at 1:56pm
Extract from The Grantham Journal, 25 August 1917.Canadian Soldier's Death from Wounds.A Native of Langham.Pte. Needham, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, youngest son of Mr W Needham of the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Langham, died in a Casualty Clearing station, on the morning of the 16th inst. from wounds received in the great Canadian attach on Hill 70, on the 15th. The following letter was received on Wednesday by his wife from the Chaplain, who spent the last hours with the deceased soldier in hospital:- "No 1 CCS, BEF, Agu 17th 1917. Dear Mrs Needham - You will have head the bad news of your husband's sad death before you receive this letter, but I am sure you will be glad to hear some more about him. He was brought to this hospital on the evening of Wednesday last, Aug 15th, suffering from a severe abdominal wound. He was in a very critical condition, but we did not despair of his life, as there seemed to be a good chance of his pulling through. The surgeon did everything in his power for him, and he had the most devoted nursing and care. Towards midnight, however, he began to fail, and, in spite of all, he sank, and evenutally passed away about 7am. He was very exhuasted on arrival here, and of course his strength failed as the hours passed, but I do not believe that he was in pain, and his end was most peaceful. I said some prayers with him, and he was able to join in the Lord's Prayer: it seemed to bring comfort to him. This afternoon I have laid him to rest, at 2pm, in a beautiful cemetery. My thoughts wnet out to you in your great sorrow, and I know how much you would have liked to be there. He was so brave and patient, and we must think of him at peace with his Saviour. He has given his life for his friends, and won the hero's crown. I am so grieved for you, and know what your loss must be. I have just heard that one of my borthers is wounded and missing. Please accept my sincerest sympathy with you and yours in your great sorrow, and may God bless and help you to bear your cross. Believe me, yours very sincerely, K A Lake, C of H, Chaplain." Pte Needham, who was 32 years of age, leaves a widow and two children. He joined in Canada, and came over to England in January 1916, proceeding to France in May of the same year.
By cbrandal on Friday 3rd October '14 at 10:22am

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

Please wait