[From: Phil Weller]
In the 1891 census, he was living in Temple Street, High Wycombe, and was an apprentice carpenter.
In the 1901 census, he was an orderly at the Dover Military Hospital. (The entry in the 1901 census is a different William Weller, also born in the Wycombe district in 1872, who joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1894)
Enlisted in the army, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) in 1893, the same year his mother died, giving his age as 18 instead of 21. Served in India and Burma 1895 to 1902. Served in South Africa in 1902. From the amount of War Gratuity that his family received, I (PW) have worked out that he must have enlisted in Nov/Dec 1914, but did not serve overseas.
Returned to England and joined the Reserves until the completion of his 14 years (1902 to 1905).
In the 1911 census, William Stephen Weller was single, and staying in the Salvation Army hostel in Bristol. He was working as a carpenter and joiner.
When WW1 started and conscription was introduced in 1916 he was over the maximum age limit of 41 but this was increased to 51 in 1918 and he became eligible. He enlisted again, this time for the Somerset Light Infantry but this time he did not serve abroad.
He died on 21 July 1918 at Wool Military Hospital, Dorset (Bovington Camp), and was buried in Wool, Dorset. The Army record of disposal of his effects shows he was in 318 Works Company, Labour Corps, Service Number 174296. The Ancestry.com record of soldiers who died in WW1 says he was formerly regimental number 3063, Somerset Light Infantry. This is puzzling as this number would have been issued in 1890-91.
His death certificate describes him as "Private, Home Service Labour Corps, Carpenter" and cause of death "(1) Broncho pneumonia (2) Cardiac failure".
After his death, his money was shared between his siblings Hubert T, Cecil, Mrs Ethel B Langley, Kate D, Mrs Elsie R White, Hilda A, Victor, and his stepmother Emma Jane.
Curiously, a transcription of his gravestone at http://www.opcdorset.org/WoolFiles/WoolMilitaryGraves.htm gives his serial number as 52130 Devonshire Regiment. A bit of a mystery there!
[End: Phil Weller]