Paul, William Edward David
No. 90305, 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
Accidentally drowned on Saturday 19 October 1940 (aged 24)
No known grave
Brookwood Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 11 Column 1)
Hoole War Memorial in Cheshire
War memorial plaque in All Saint’s Church, Hoole
William Edward David Paul’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1916 in Chester and he was a son of William and Ida Paul (nee Tyrer) of Hoole House, Chester. Their marriage was registered in the fourth quarter of 1912 in Chester. William Edward David Paul’s father worked as a corn merchant in the Spillers Milling Group of Companies and his grandfather Edward Paul, also a grain merchant, was born in Ireland. His mother was born in 1880 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, and her father was a solicitor.
William Edward David Paul’s sister, Eileen Patience Paul, married Harold Cunningham, and their marriage was registered in the second quarter of 1937 in West Cheshire. Eileen’s subsequent marriage to Thomas P.D. Spens was registered in the third quarter of 1947 in Chelsea, London.
Hoole House in Chester was built by William Hamilton in 1760 and in the early 1800s it was the home of Lady Eliza Broughton. The garden was described as ‘remarkable’. During the First World War the house was used as a seventy-bed hospital and in the 1930s it became the home of the Paul family. In 1953 the house was converted into flats that were later demolished to make way for homes for the elderly and so the original house and grounds have been lost within the suburban outskirts of Chester.
Second Lieutenant William Edward David Paul (No. 90305) was Intelligence Officer in the 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers when the Battalion was stationed in Northern Ireland (from December 1939 to November 1941 they were headquartered at Banbridge and then Keady).
At the time of his death, Second Lieutenant William Edward David Paul (No. 90305) was stationed in Killyleagh, Co. Down. On 19 October 1940, along with Captain Maurice Evelyn Beale of Hammersmith, London, he borrowed a 14-foot centreboard sailing boat from Benjamin Bennett of Killyleagh to go sailing in Strangford Lough. A heavy sea was running as they left Killyleagh harbour and some hours later the boat, badly holed, was washed ashore at Holm Bay. There was no trace of either of the two bodies. Exactly five months later, on 19 March 1941, Captain Beale’s body was found floating in the water and brought ashore at Portaferry. At the inquest, the Coroner returned a verdict of ‘found drowned’ and Captain Beale was buried at 10.00 am on Sunday 23 March 1941 in Killyleagh Parish Church of Ireland Churchyard.
Second Lieutenant Paul’s body was never found. He was 24 when he died and he is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial in Surrey; on Hoole War Memorial in Cheshire and on the war memorial plaque in All Saint’s Church, Hoole. Second Lieutenant William Edward David Paul’s effects amounted to some £1,300 and probate was granted to his mother, Ida Paul.