Maples, William Evelyn
Youngest son of William Maples of Ashtead, Surrey and of Elizabeth Maples, nee Jackson, and one of three Wykehamist brothers, another of whom, Captain Kenneth James Maples (G, 1890-1896), South Staffordshire Regiment, fell on May 16th 1915 (see individual entry). He came to Winchester from Mr. Johnson’s school at Ashtead, and played in Commoner XV. After a short period with the Militia he entered the Regular Army (Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment) in 1899.
He served in South Africa from 1899-1902, and later on took part with the King’s African Rifles in the Nandi and Somaliland campaigns. He travelled widely in East Africa, Abyssinia and the Himalayas, and was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1910, he went to India, and shortly before the war passed into the Staff College at Quetta though he resigned this three months later. The loss of Kut (in present day Iraq) along with 10,000 British troops, after a 5 month seige led to the appointment of a new commander of the Third Indian Army Corps, Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Maude, who set about re-organising and strengthening the British forces with the aim of recapturing this strategically important town on the River Tigris.
Maude launched his offensive against Kut, attacking with some 50,000 troops on the night of 13th/14th December 1916. Maples fell in action during this advance on the Tigris Line while commanding the 6th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.
Both William and Kenneth Maples are commemorated on the Ashtead war memorials at St George’s and St Giles.
Another Wykehamist, Lieutenant Frank Hicks MC (K1910-1914, 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, killed in action, August 21st 1918), is also commemorated on those memorials.
- Surname: Maples
- Forenames or initials: William Evelyn
- House: G
- Years in School: 1893-1897
- Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
- Regiment: Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment
- Date of Birth: 2nd February 1880
- Date of Death: 15th December 1916
- How Died: Killed in action
- Location in War Cloister: Outer A2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panel 20 of the BASRA MEMORIAL