No. 18767, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 25)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
William Simpson was born on 8 June 1891 in Church Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William and Agnes Simpson (nee McGimpsey) who were married on 22 June 1888 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. William Simpson was a son of William Simpson, a weaver. Agnes McGimpsey was a daughter of James McGimpsey, a labourer.
The Simpson family lived in Church Street, Newtownards and at 23 West Street, Newtownards.
William Simpson worked as a stonecutter and he and Agnes had five children, all of whom were baptised in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church:
Margaret (Maggie, born 10 October 1888 in Church Street, Newtownards)
William (born 8 June 1891 in Church Street, Newtownards)
Catherine (born 26 July 1893 in Church Street, Newtownards)
Agnes (born 22 July 1896 in Church Street, Newtownards)
Jane (born 22 January 1899 in Church Street, Newtownards; died of pneumonia 18 July 1899 – some three weeks after her mother died)
After William’s mother Agnes died of influenza on 27 June 1899 (aged 32), Catherine and Agnes went to live with George and Catherine Bailie in East Street, Newtownards. William Simpson Senior and Sarah Paden were married on 25 July 1901 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. Sarah Paden was a daughter of Robert Paden, a weaver.
William and Sarah Simpson (nee Paden) lived at 9 Pound Street, Newtownards and they had at least three children including:
Sarah (Sadie, born 30 June 1902 in Pound Street, Newtownards)
Robert (born 16 September 1904 in Pound Street, Newtownards)
Their father, William, died of tuberculosis at home on 4 July 1909.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Simpson worked as a beetler in a linen factory. He enlisted in Newtownards and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Lance Corporal William Simpson was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Initially he was reported as missing in action and in June 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed. His stepmother, brother and sisters placed a For King and Country notice in the 16 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.
Lance Corporal William Simpson (No. 18767) was 25 when he died, he has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.