William Neville Broadbent Bury was born in Salford on June 11, 1890. His father, Joshua Bury, was a Land Agent and Surveyor and owned his own business. William was the youngest of three children and by 1901 he was living in Salford with his father, his mother Lucy Annie Bury (née Taylor), his sisters Dorothy and Nora and two domestic servants. He was educated at Lawrence House School for Young Gentlemen, St Annes on Sea and then at Blundell’s School, Tiverton (1904-07), where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps (OTC). His father’s business flourished and by 1911 he was working with his father as a Land Surveyor and living with his parents, his aunt, two domestic servants and a chauffeur. In August 1913 he married Muriel Lonsdale at Manchester Cathedral.
In 1914 he joined the OCT at Manchester University and was duly commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force) on November 7, 1914 where he was quickly appointed Temporary Lieutenant two weeks later. He joined the 2/9th Battalion in training at Southport and moved with them to Pease Pottage in June 1915. On October 13, 1915 he embarked for Gallipoli with 10 other Officers, arriving at Mudros on October 24th and joined the Battalion on Cape Helles on October 26, 1915. Upon arrival it was found that two Officers already serving at Gallipoli were of a junior rank and so he relinquished his temporary appointment. Two weeks later he was sent to hospital sick and remained there for 9 days.
He sailed with the Battalion to Egypt, arriving on January 21, 1916. On March 21, 1916 he again was sent to hospital sick and remained there for six days. On May 19, 1916 he was awarded 51 days home leave in the UK and was promoted to Lieutenant on June 1st while he was on leave. After he returned to Egypt he attended a 3 week course of Instruction at Zeitoun, in September, where he qualified as a 1st Class Lewis Gun Instructor. Shortly after he rejoined the Battalion he again reported sick to hospital where he remained for 3 months.
He sailed with the Battalion to France, arriving on March 11, 1917. On May 6 he left for a course of instruction at Foucaucourt where he remained for 39 days and around 10 days after rejoining the Battalion reported sick to hospital where he remained for 8 days. He was awarded 11 days home leave in the UK from July 17-28th and a month after his return was attached to the 42nd Divisional Depot Battalion. On November 28, 1917 he was seconded to the Tank Corps. He was appointed acting Captain while commanding a tank section on December 11, 1917 and was made temporary Captain on October 19, 1918. Transferring to the unemployed list on January 24, 1919 he resigned his commission sometime later, retaining the rank of Captain.
After the war he briefly attended Cambridge in 1919 and then went into business with his father and brother-in-law, Robert Edgar Stephenson, and they formed the partnership Joshua Bury, Son and Stephenson, Land Surveyors. In 1921 he applied for transfer to the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers.
During the interwar years he became a Fellow of the Chartered Surveyor Institution but eventually retired from the business on April 1, 1935 and moved to Bournemouth. His father died suddenly four months later. While in Bournemouth, he married Mary E. Brooker and they were living there when war broke out in 1939. As a Captain in the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers he submitted an ‘Application for Registration in the Army Officers’ Emergency Reserve for Re-Employment in, or Appointment to, an Emergency Commission in His Majesty’s Land Forces’. His application was accepted and he was duly mobilised as a Captain in the Manchester Regiment. He only served for a short period and, having reached the age limit, retired and retained his rank on November 2, 1940.
Captain William Neville Broadbent Bury died in October 1971. He was 81 years old.