Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

William Henry Gray

Surname: Gray
Other names: William Henry
Other people in this story:
James Chasey Gray
Susanna Kensell Gray née Norris
Edith Annie Gray née Fry
Gordon James Gray
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Enmore Green, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Weymouth, Dorset
Chetnole, Dorset
Noad Road, Ashmore, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Watery Lane, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire
Beicos, Malta

William Henry Gray was born in Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 20th June 1896 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 12th July 1896, the son of James Chasey Gray and Susanna Kensell Gray (née Norris).  He lived his early life with the family at 8 Gold Hill, Shaftesbury and later on in Enmore Green, Shaftesbury. He enlisted with the Royal Navy on 31st January 1912 as a Boy Class II later becoming an Able Seaman (Service No. J15923). He served throughout the war in various ships and shore establishments being regarded as a 'sharpshooter'.  He eventually bought himself out of the service subject to him agreeing to remain on the Reserves on 30th June 1923.  He was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as the 1914/15 Star.  He had married Edith Annie Fry (who came from Ashmore, Shaftesbury, Dorset) in 1917 and his address given on the Absent Voters List for 1918 was Noad Road, Ashmore.  The 1921 Census shows that he was based on HMS Iron Duke then assigned to Beicos, Malta,  whilst his wife lived at 19 Bell Street, Shaftesbury.  By the time of the 1939 Register he had settled at Watery Lane, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, and was working as a Roadman for the Dorset County Council as well as being the local Civil Defence Decontamination Volunteer.  He died in the Weymouth, Dorset, Registry District in 1988 and was buried at Chetnole, Dorset, on 13th April 1988. His brother, Gordon James Gray, also served during the conflict.


Links to related web content / sources:
The National Archives