H. W. May
Service no. 129402
Private, Machine Gun Corps, 2nd Battalion, formerly 8343, London Regiment
Enlisted at Lambeth
Died of his wounds on 22 October 1918 at age 19
CWGC: “Son of Mr and Mrs W. C. May of 76A Thorparch Road, Wandsworth Road, London. Native of Box, Wiltshire.”
Remembered at Etaples Military Cemetery, France
British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
Herbert William May first joined the London Regiment in April 1915 when he was about 16. He enlisted at St John’s Hill, Wandsworth and was accepted into the 23rd Battalion of the London Regiment (Territorial Force).
May was 5 feet 7 inches tall, 128 pounds (just over 9 stone) and 35½ inches around the chest (with 2½ inches expansion). His vision was judged to be good as was his physical development. He stated that he was 19.
This was a lie and on Christmas Day 1915 he was discharged “having made a mis-statement as to age”. He had served 205 days.
Later he joined the Machine Gun Corps, and was died of wounds at Etaples, where there was a high concentration of hospitals treating the wounded.
Information from the 1911 census
Herbert William May, 12, lived in a 3-roomed apartment at 51 Riverhall Street, South Lambeth. He was born in South Lambeth. His parents, Walter Charles May, 40, a general labourer, and Mary Ann May, 45, were both from Box, Wiltshire. Three of their 6 children survived:
Mary May, 18, a kitchen hand for the Express Dairy Company, born in Westminster
Herbert William May, 12, born in South Lambeth
Raymond Wilfred May, 4, born in South Lambeth