Pioneer William Crowley Whittingham

Biography of Pioneer William Crowley Whittingham

William Crowley Whittingham was the eldest child of William Whittington and Elizabeth Annie Crowley. He was born on 30th May 1886 at 5 Elm Terrace, Elm Road, Landport, Hampshire and christened at Buckland Road Wesleyan Chapel, Landport by the Reverend George Adock on 14th July 1886.

He was educated at Christ's Hospital School, Greenock Academy (1901-1902) and the University of Glasgow, where he first matriculated in 1902 to study Medicine.

William was the eldest of three quite remarkable brothers. It was he who paved the way for brothers Harold and Clive to make medicine something of a family preserve. When he was just sixteen he began his studies at Glasgow.

At the time, in 1902, he recorded his family home at 40 Brisbane Street Greenock and he probably commuted to his classes in Glasgow, though a year later he found lodgings close by the university at 39 Gibson Street. The family moved too, and took up residence in Langside, first at 30 Mansion House Road, and in 1905, to 9 Overdale Villas. His father William was a Staff Engineer in the Royal Navy when William started medicine, though he would later rise to the rank of Rear Admiral.

He seems to have progressed in his medical studies and in 1906 his name appears in the prize list, when he distinguished himself in the class of Medical Jurisprudence and Public Health. He did not graduate, however. On 20th October 1906, at about the time when he would have been matriculating to finish his degree, he married Jessie Campbell of Cathcart. They had three children: William Harold Whittingham, born 4th June 1908, Gladys Muriel, born on 10th January 1910, and Clive Robert Edward, born on 3rd July 1915.

Sadly, William would not to live to enjoy them growing up. He joined the Army. William Crowley Whittingham, a Pioneer in the Special Brigade, Royal Engineers, died from gassing and exposure sustained in the trenches. His family understands that he was shipped to Southampton where he died on 30th September 1918. His youngest brother, Captain Clive Alan Whittingham, who also served on the Western Front, was killed in action on 7th June 1917, caught in shellfire at the Battle of Messines. The Whittingham family lost two brothers, both full of promise. It was left to the third brother, also a brilliant young medic who served in and survived the Great War to scale the heights that were denied his siblings. He would become Air Marshall Sir Harold Edward Whittingham.

William Whittingham is buried at Bitterne (Holy Saviour) Cemetery, Hampshire, his brother Clive at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

 

Summary

Pioneer William Crowley Whittingham
Rank: Pioneer
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Died 30 September 1918
Note/Press Clipping: CH 4/4/2/3/1284
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/302

Sources

University of Glasgow Registry and Faculty Records

Biography: Additional information contributed by the family.

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register.

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