Merriman, William Robert Hill
Son of Robert William Merriman (COM., 1851-1854) and Edith (daughter of Thomas Baverstock Merriman, a banker and solicitor, also of Marlborough) of Sempringham, Marlborough, Wiltshire, he entered College from Rev. E.P. Browne’s school at Eastbourne, becoming a School Prefect in his last year. In 1901 he was elected to a scholarship at New College, Oxford, and graduated in 1905 with First Classes in Classical Moderations and Literae Humaniores. In the same year he joined the Civil Service and started work for the Board of Inland Revenue, becoming a Committee clerk in 1912. He lived for a time at Toynbee Hall and taught at the London Working Men’s College.
He had just returned from a walking tour in the Balkans when war was declared, and the following day enlisted – regardless of protests from his employers – in the Honourable Artillery Company, leaving for France in September 1914. He remained in the ranks till October 1915, having during that time been promoted Sergeant and mentioned in Despatches.
He received his commission in May 1916, and was posted to the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade which was then serving on the Somme. The day before his death his battalion moved to the north east corner of Delville Wood, where on 15th August 1916 he was killed in action. He had been put in charge of a party detailed to protect a detachment engaged in improving Dorset Trench and was killed while setting out with them.
When the cemeteries were consolidated after the war, Merriman’s body could not be individually identified, although it is known to be one of those buried in Green Dump Cemetery.
In October 2004 Bonhams sold for £152 “a collection of ephemera” that had belonged to 2nd Lieutenant Merriman. It is not currently known what that collection comprised or where it now is.
- Surname: Merriman
- Forenames or initials: William Robert
- House: College
- Years in School: 1894-1901
- Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
- Regiment: Rifle Brigade
- Date of Birth: 21st March 1882
- Date of Death: 15th August 1916
- How Died: Killed in action
- Location in War Cloister: Outer A3
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: GREEN DUMP CEMETERY MEMORIAL, MONTAUBAN