William John Board was the eldest son of a family from Nottingham. Born in Cardiff in March 1899, where his father was Deputy Town Clerk, the family then moved to Nottingham, where his father became Town Clerk.
William came up to Dryden House in September 1914, having previously attended Wolverley School in Worcester and King Edward’s School in Stratford on Avon, like his fellow Oundelian Geoffrey Donaldson.
He left Oundle after just two years, aged 17 and went to Nottingham University, where he joined the OTC. He then trained with the Royal Field Artillery at bases at Weedon and Lark Hill. In March 1918, just after his 19th birthday, he received a commission and was in a reserve battalion in Ireland. In August 1918, he was sent to Salonika, fighting the Bulgars. With the Bulgarians in disarray, the British French and Greeks had built up large forces by the autumn of 1918, ready to finish off their opponents. William Board was killed in the subsequent 3rd Battle of Doiran, which was launched four days before his death. He suffered gunshot wounds on 18th September 1918 while taking ammunition up to the fighting line and died four days later. He was still 19 years old, and lies buried in Sarigol Military Cemetery in Kriston, Greece. On his headstone his parents wrote: “In loving memory of our dear so. He giveth his beloved sleep.”
Later, his parents erected a tablet and holy table in their local church, St Jude’s in the Mapperly district of Nottingham.