Granton War Memorial
On the Granton War Memorial the name is spelt ‘Fitzsimmons’ and this spelling is used in Soldiers Died in the Great War. In the 1901 Census, on the Commonwealth War Graves record and in his Army Service Records the spelling ‘Fitzsimons’ is used. William Fitzsimons was born in Slateford circa 1893. His parents were John and Margaret Fitzsimons. At the time of the 1901 Census the family were living at Crewe Cottages, Ferry Road. His father worked for a railway company as a Chief Yardsman.
He enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 3rd September 1914. His attestation papers survive and record that he was then aged 22 years and four months and that his occupation was that of ‘engine fitter and draughtsman’. The Edinburgh Evening News on 14th October 1916 reported that he had been employed by Messrs Ramage & Ferguson (shipbuilders) of Leith. His service records also show that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall and had hazel eyes and chestnut hair.
He remained in the United Kingdom until 8th October 1915 – he was at the Royal Engineers Training Depot at Dunstable from 21st July 1915. Earlier he got into trouble for ‘riding a motor cycle without permission’ on 10th February 1915 and was sentenced to five days CB (confined to barracks).
On 9th October 1915 he arrived in France. He was killed in action on 25th September 1916 and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial along with over 72,000 others (serving in the British and South African Forces) who were killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and in later fighting in the same area in 1918 and who have no known grave.