Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

Search
Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 17242 William Ernest Adams


  • Age: 23
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
  • K.I.A Monday 23rd April 1917
  • Commemorated at: Arras Memorial
    Panel Ref: Bay 3

William Ernest Adams was born in Rice Street, Liverpool on 23rd May 1893, the son of Thomas Adams and his wife Annie (nee McMahon). His parents married on 24th October 1884 at St Peters Church in Liverpool. William was baptised at St Peter's Church in Liverpool on 02nd July 1893. The baptismal records show that his father was a Policeman, born in Balanacoy, Antrim. 

His mother Annie died in 1898 and was buried at Ford Cemetery.

The family is found on the 1901 Census living at 30 Upper Hill Street, Liverpool. William is 7 years of age. His father, Thomas, is a 50 year old Police Constable, his birth year given as 1851  his occupation as a Police Constable and his place of birth as Ireland. He has remarried and his wife, Delia, is shown as aged 24, born in 1877 also in Ireland. William has three siblings in the household, all of whom were born in liverpool; Thomas F. a 19 year old dock labourer, Robert J. aged 12 and new born Charles J. Also declared in the household are a niece Margaret McMahon, a 26 year old dressmaker born in Ireland and a boarder. 

The 1911 Census shows the family living at 80 Upper Pitt Street, Liverpool.

His father, now a retired Policeman and Theatre Attendant aged 62, his birth year now recorded as 1849., whilst his wife, Delia is shown to be aged aged 31, born 1880 in Co.Mayo and she has no occupation listed. They have been married for 11 years and declare that they have had five children all of whom have survived. Thomas has seven children living with him at the taking of the Census; Robert aged 22, born 1889 is a postman, William aged 17, born 1894 is a junior clerk for a oat merchant. The children born to him with his wife Delai are listed as; John aged 10, born 1901, Margaret aged 9 born 1902, Delia aged 7, born 1904 and James aged 5, born 1906 are all at school and Madeleine is aged 2, born 1909. The children were all born in Liverpool.

Prior to enlistment William was employed by the Post Office. 

William enlisted in Liverpool joining in the 18th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 17242.

From the 23rd September 1914 he was billeted at Hooton Park Race Course and remained there until 03rd December 1914 when they moved into the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 18th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 07th November 1915.

He was posted as Missing and later accepted as being killed in action on 23rd Aprl 1917, aged 23.

His anxious parents placed an appeal for information in the Liverpool Express newspaper on 26th May 1917:

MISSING SOLDIER

Pte. W. E. Adams, attached to the Machine Gun Section of the King's Liverpool Regiment has been missing since April 23.Any news concerning him will be gratefully recieved by Mrs Thomas Adams, of 80 Upper Pitt-st., Liverpool.  

William's body was not recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost as his name is recorded on the Arras Memorial in France. 

The ARRAS MEMORIAL commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918. Canadian and Australian servicemen killed in these operations are commemorated by memorials at Vimy and Villers-Bretonneux. A separate memorial remembers those killed in the Battle of Cambrai in 1917. Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with sculpture by Sir William Reid Dick. The memorial was unveiled by Lord Trenchard, Marshal of the Royal Air Force on the 31 July 1932 (originally it had been scheduled for 15 May, but due to the sudden death of French President Doumer, as a mark of respect, the ceremony was postponed until July).

His name features in an entry on the British Red Cross & Order Of St John Enquiry List, Wounded & Missing, 1914-1919.

William Ernest earned his three medals.

He is also commemorated on the following Memorials:

Central Hall Methodist Memorial 

Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool Town Hall, Panel 16 Right

Liverpool Post Office Staff, now housed inside the Met Quarter shopping centre, Liverpool.

Grateful thanks are extended to Joe Devereux for permission to use the photograph of William Ernest Adams now shown on this site.

We currently have no further information on William Ernest Adams, If you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.

Killed On This Day.

(109 Years this day)
Sunday 21st February 1915.
Private 17862 William Robert Jones
25 years old

(107 Years this day)
Wednesday 21st February 1917.
Pte 52462 Richard Ainsworth
21 years old

(105 Years this day)
Friday 21st February 1919.
CQMS 22649 Horace Vere Clatworthy
23 years old