Rank: Quartermaster-Sergeant 905309
Regiment or Ship: 816th Battery 215th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Service Number(s): 905309
Occupation: General Farm Labourer
Date of Birth: 04.1884
Place of Birth: Battle, Sussex
Date of Death: 09.01.1919 (War Graves Commission); 19-01-1919 (Probate record)
Place of Death: Mesopotamia (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) Place of Burial / Memorials:
Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery (Grave/Memorial reference II. E. 10.)
Address: Hall’s Cross, Hooe
Photos and newspaper articles
From the 1891 Census of Catsfield, Church Road.
James Thomas Vidler – born in 1858, in Hooe, Sussex and Jane Vidler (née Cornford) – born 1848, in Heathfield, Sussex.
Sister – Edith Martha Vidler – born 1882, in Battle, Sussex married (as Vitler) Albert Grant, in 1906, in Hailsham District.
Note. “Vidler” and “Vitler” were quite often interchanged in the past.
The mother, Jane Vidler, died in 1899 and father and son, according to 1901 census, moved to Broad Street, Hooe. The 1911 Census shows both men living at Halls Cross, Hooe).
William James Vitler married Charlotte Elizabeth Allen in 1913, in Battle and they had one child, also named William James, born in early 1914, in the Hailsham Registration District (could be Hooe).
No record has been found of William and Charlotte’s son ever marrying.
Albert and Edith Martha Grant (his sister, Edith Martha) may have had children but this has not been determined.
First World War Experience
Like many WW1 soldiers, William’s Service Records seem to have been lost but, as he died after the Armistice, it is possible that he died from the “Spanish” influenza epidemic that swept the world from the final months of 1918, unusually killing the young and fit, instead of the usual victims, the weak, sick or elderly.
The Commonwealth War graves Commission (See below) say that he died in Mesopotamia, which was affected by Spanish Flu in the late 1918s onward.
Name: VITLER, WILLIAM JAMES.Rank: Quartermaster Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery. 816th Bty. 215th Bde.
Age: 34.Date of Death: 09/01/1919.Service No: 905309
Additional information: Husband of C. Vitler, of Halls Cross, Hooe, Battle, Sussex.
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. E. 10. Cemetery: Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.
His Medal Roll Index Card: Shows him as Acting W.O. II and Sergeant 453 (as a Territorial) and therefore entitled to the Territorial Force medal as well as British War and Victory medals. He did not serve Overseas until after 1915, and has the 6 figure Territorial Number introduced from 1916.