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Sjt. William John Toyer
British Army Middlesex Regiment 23rd Btn.
from:Long Yard, Islip, Northants
Bill Toyer was born in Radlett, Herts on 19th Dec 1890. He worked as a Railway Platelaying Gangmaster and was a pre war member of the Hertfordshire Territorial Force. His date of attestation was 5th Sept 1914, when he joined "B" Company 15th (2nd Reserve Battalion) Middlesex Regt, as an Acting Corporal He was Promoted Sergeant on 22nd Aug 1916, according to his Active Service Pay Book, and his Will was signed as 'Serg, 23rd Middlesex Reg, 13th Sept 1916. The last pay entry states 'In The Field' 31st May 1917 and he was believed wounded in the Messines campaign, with shell fragments in left arm. He was evacuated to Dublin Hospital Ireland, and believed released from hospital 'not fit for active service' but not discharged until the wars end.
He told me He was present when the mines were detonated, (Hill 60) they were all told to lay face down, he said the ground tremor moved him 15 feet backwards!
I retain his medals,(Pip Sqeak and Wilfred) and the battered remains of his Active Service Pay Book, my cousin has his 'Certification Of Serving His Country'Plaque, presumably intended for display by his family whilst away?
After the war Bill returned to the Railway, as before living In various tied company properties until finally moving to Irchester Northants In the early 1930's. He died in 1978.
G W Toyer
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