W. E. Turpin
Service no. 140311
Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery, 172nd Siege Bty.
Born in Clapham; enlisted in Clapham
Killed in action on 31 May 1918, aged 32
Remembered at Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension, Italy
National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918
TURPIN, W. E., Gunner, R.G.A.
He joined in January 1917, and in the following May was sent to France, where he took part in the fighting at Bullecourt and Messines. Later he was transferred to Italy, where he was unfortunately killed in action on May 30th, 1918, and was buried at Montechiaro. He was entitled to the General Service and Victory Medals.
“Great deeds cannot die.”
15, Elwell Road, Clapham, S.W.4.
Information from the censuses
In 1911 William Evan Turpin was a 25-year-old grocer’s assistant, living in three rooms at 15 Elwell Road, Clapham, with his wife Emma Turpin (née Guy), 25, from Wolverhampton, and their young son William Joseph Turpin, 11 months, born in Clapham.Meanwhile, his parents, Jesse Turpin, a 48-year-old bricklayer’s labourer from Little London, Essex, and Mary A. Turpin, 48, from Averayon, Cardiganshire, were living at 62 Paradise Road, Stockwell.
William attested on 8 December 1915. He was 5ft 11in tall, with a 43in chest. His Service record states that he died of shell injuries to the right side of body, particularly his stomach and hand. After an Enquiry in the Field, these injuries were judged to be ‘negligently self-inflicted’, ‘an accident due to disobedience to orders’.Lieutenant Colonel W.D. Alexandia came to the conclusion that Turpin died after ‘scraping the nose of an old Austrian fuze and having done that he walked away and the explosion took place in his hand.’ Alexandia stated that ‘all men in the battery have been warned repeatedly not to tamper with enemy duds, fuzes etc.’
Emma was awarded a widow’s pension of 27s 7d a week for herself and her three children.
George Cody (Emma’s great nephew) adds: “Sadly William and Emma’s son Ernest Walter was also killed in action, in WW2, and is interred in a military cemetery also in Italy.”