William Hampson Lillie was born in Wimbledon, Surrey on October 9, 1888. His father, William, had a Cotton Cloth Finishing business.
William Hampson Lillie attended boarding school at Adlington Hall, in Cheshire. At the turn of the century Adlington Hall was briefly a “School for Backward and Delicate Boys” and in 1901 it was run by schoolmaster Reverend Oswald E. Hayden, a vicar’s son, and a fresh Oxford Christ Church graduate. Only five pupils are listed as boarders in the 1901 census.
By 1911 he was back with his parents in Marple and working as an assistant cloth finisher in the family business. He was commissioned into the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on September 2, 1914 while the Battalion was at camp at Bury preparing for war service.
He sailed with the Battalion to Egypt in September 1914 and served with them there throughout their training and preparation for action. He was promoted to Lieutenant, along with several other junior officers, on November 4, 1914 while serving in Egypt. He landed with the 1/9th in Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 as a platoon commander in C Company.
He survived the intense fighting that C Company in particular was involved in, in June, and was subsequently transferred to Brigade Staff. He was evacuated to hospital in Alexandria on August 9th and is noted in the Brigade war diary as returning from detail camp at Mudros in November 1915. In fact, he rejoined the Battalion on November 17th and was promoted to temporary Captain upon his return.
On February 8, 1916, while the Battalion were in Egypt, he was granted 56 days leave in the UK. He rejoined them on April 4, 1916.
He landed with the 1/9th in France on March 11, 1917 and was appointed temporary Captain during a Company reorganization that same month relinquishing the temporary rank in August 1917. On May 12, 1917 he was granted 16 days leave in the UK rejoining the Battalion on May 28th. On June 11, 1917 he was attached to the 126th Brigade HQ and remained there for 69 days. He was wounded in action on September 6th and spent 37 days in hospital before rejoining the Battalion on October 13, 1917. 10 days later he attended a 4th Army Gas School and upon completion was sent to the UK and struck off the strength of the Battalion on November 1, 1917.
He retired from the Territorial Force as a Captain and on March 27, 1920 he married Mary Ida Ruston Fitter in Warwickshire. Their son Kenneth C. Lillie was born the following year and a daughter, Ida S. Lillie, was born in 1922. At this time they were living in Hazel Grove, Stockport and William had taken over the family business.
Captain William Hampson Lillie died in 1972. He was 83 years old.