William Masterton

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: 14th April 1915
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Clyde Z/3970
  • Rank: Leading Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Drake Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 23
  • Date of Death: 30.12.1917
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Pier & Face 1A

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 8 Tannadice Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Footballer
  • Mother:

    Ellen Masterton, 8 Tannadice St, Dundee

  • Father:

    Charles Smith Masterton

  • Siblings:

    Douglas & John

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about William Masterton

William has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. He was the son of Mr & Mrs Masterton, 8 Tannadice St, Dundee.

William is believed to be the brother of  Cpl John Douglas Masterton, S/11489, 2nd battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who was killed in action 21.06.1918 and Pte Douglas Masterton, S/44773, 1st battalion, Gordon Highlanders, who died of wounds 23.10.1918.

William Masterton (known as Bill) was the son of Mr Abraham (Abram?) and Mrs Ellen (Helen?) Masterton (nee Whyte) of 8 Tannadice Street, Dundee. He volunteered to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division, giving his occupation as a Footballer. William played for Dundee Football Club. William Low Masterton | Service Record – Football and the First World War Between October 1914 and March 1915 he made 24 first team appearances.

He trained initially at the Crystal Palace in South London before being sent to the RND Depot at Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training in June. He was drafted to the Drake Battalion, arriving on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 21 September 1915. He suffered a debilitating illness from 12 October to 1 December and was hospitalised on the island of Mudros. He rejoined the Battalion and would have taken part in the withdrawal from Gallipoli which was completed by early January 1916. The RND undertook garrison duties in the Aegean until it was sent to France to join in the fight on the Western Front. The Drake Battalion sailed from Mudros, arriving in Marseille on 7 June. After training British Army tactics and systems the RND moved into the front line and prepared for the final Somme Battle. This happened on 13 November 1916 and the Division captured the village of Beaumont Hamel which had been a first day objective on 1 July. William Masterton was hospitalised with influenza on 8 December and was invalided to the UK on 16 December. Drafted back to France in March 1917, he rejoined Drake Battalion on 11th April until suffering a bullet wound to the left arm and being invalided home again on 21 July 1917. On recovery he rejoined Drake Battalion on 13 November 1917. William Masterton was killed in action on 30th December 1917 during the fighting on Welsh Ridge. His records show that his body was identified on the battlefield by the Germans but his body was not found afterwards. His name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial in Northern France. He was the brother of Bessie and George Masterton of 29 Clepington Street, Dundee.

Additional information supplied by Gary Thomson.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Can you tell us more about William Masterton'? Some additional facts, a small story handed down through the family or perhaps a picture or an heirloom you can share online. Contact our curator...

THANK YOU for your interest in helping the Great War Dundee project. Please complete the short form below and a curator will contact you in the next few days.

    I am writing to: