SERGEANT WILLIAM HENRY MAY MM AND BAR
1ST OCTOBER 1918 AGE 22
BURIED: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, FRANCE
This lovely inscription comes from Tennyson's In Memoriam, LXXIV - the darkness of death has been made beautiful by this man's presence. The War Graves Commission's records say that the inscription was chosen by Mrs L May. I can't tell who this is as William May's mother was called Selina and his father, Charles.
Twenty-two-year-old William Henry May was a sergeant with a Military Medal and Bar when he died of wounds in hospital in Etaples on 1 October 1918, having been wounded, according to the 3rd Battalion Canadian Infantry War Diary on 27 September.
This is an excellent war record for a young man who in the 1911 census was an inmate in the reformatory school in Kingswood, Somerset. Whilst here boys were educated and taught a trade and some were given grants to help them emigrate once they were released. William May went to Canada. Here he joined up in September 1914, giving his trade as an actor. He served throughout the war and was wounded seven times before he died.