William Wade was born in Oakham, the son of Charles Wade and his wife who lived at 33 Penn Street. He worked as a footman in London for Lady Cicely Gathborne Hardy before he enlisted at Chelsea into the Middlesex Regiment on 11 May 1916. After four months training at Sleaford, he embarked for France on 26 September 1916. He was killed by a piece of shrapnel in fighting near Ypres. In a letter to his parents, his Major wrote: "You have the satisfaction of knowing he died doing his duty. For over five months your son has been my personal servant, and a more faithful one never lived. He was certainly the most honest and conscientous boy I know, and a great favourite with all his comrades." Lady Gathborne Hardy wrote: "The Colonel and I were very fond of your boy and I think he was happy with us." And Lord William Neville expressing his grief at Rifleman Wade's death said: "I liked him better than any boy I ever had in my service, and that is saying a good deal, as we have had many during 28 years we have been married. I was really fond of him... He has done his bit for his country, the greatest any man can do, and though your sorrow must be very great you must also be very proud to think that you had a son who died, as he has, the most honoured death any one can die." William Wade is buried at Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, near Ypres, grave B.6, and is remembered on Oakham's War Memorial.
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