Lt William Genders

medal card Genders genders

Lieutenant William Genders served in 8th (S) Battalion MGC in North Russia with Henry James Angliss (also 8th Battalion MGC). When Genders returned from Russia he was recruited with another MGC man by Basil Thomson of Scotland Yard for intelligence work in Ireland and that the other man was shot by the IRA. The assumption is this other man was Angliss though there is no proof of this.

1889 Dec 13. William Genders born in Burton, Staffs.

1891 Census. With his family in 2 Fennel St, Burton on Trent. Son of a cabman

1901 census The family are living at 3 Rose Cottages, Branstone Rd, Burton on Trent. William is not at home. William was in fact at the Midlands Truant School at Lichfield. The census record shows a William Genders, age 11, born Burton on Trent The school was in Beacon Street, in the Parish of St. Chad.  Certified 28th December 1893 for 100 children. Cessation or closure as a Truant School 18th July 1905.

At first the Truant Schools were not pleasant places.  They smacked of the prison rather than of the school; provision for solitary confinement was more evident that that for instruction, and it is some consolation to think that the schools were never used for girls.  The appointment of officers who had had experience in Industrial Schools, however, gradually let to the adoption of more enlightened methods, and during recent years less regard has been paid to mere paper results and more to the quality for the successes, with the result that even the formed showed an improvement, and such Truant Schools as Upton House and Highbury in London and the Midlands School at Lichfield, succeeded in accomplishing in the course of a few months and at the latest by the time the boy was 14 years of age, everything that could be desired in the way of giving him such a start in life as should ensure his ultimate success, provided always that the home surrounds were not too unfavourable.  But just as the schools appeared to have solved the problem the number of boys committed to them began from various causes to decline, till at times the number in the schools fell below 1,000.

1906 Oct 8 Enlists in Militia . He is a labourer

1906 Nov 24 Enlisted in North Staffs regt

1911 census Private William Genders age 22 with 2nd Batt North Staffordshire Regt, at Peshawar, NW Frontier of India. Born Burton, Staffs.

1914 August : at Buttevant. Part of 17th Brigade in 6th Division. Moved to Cambridge and quickly on to Newmarket.

1914 Sep 10 Landed at St Nazaire, France with 1st North Staffs

1914 Dec Rue du Bois sector from 6th -31st December 1914 and were witnesses to the Christmas Truce. December 11th the 1st Bn took over trenches in the Rue Du Bois area, generally known as the "Death Trap" or "Dead Man's Alley," and remained there till relieved on December 31st. No one is sure who started this truce and impromptu meetings but they certainly took place in many areas on the Western Front. Captain R J Armes of the 1st North Staffordshire Regiment arranged, with a German officer, for a cease fire in his sector that was to last until midnight on Christmas Day.

The following are extracts from a letter dated January 3rd sent by Lance Corporal H Shufflebotham of the 1st North Staffordshire Regiment: We had a very bad time in the trenches this time on account of the bad weather, and there are no end of men going sick through colds &c. We were in the trenches from December 11th to the 31st and now we have come down to --, where we are to stay in billets for five days. After that we go back into the trenches for four days and then, I believe we go down country for a new outfit and a rest. We had a very good Christmas taking all things into consideration. You may not believe it but it is the truth. Our regiment and the Germans met halfway between the trenches (which are only 40 to 50 yards apart) and shook hands and exchanged cigarettes, cigars &c. Not a shot was fired as it was arranged on both sides that there should not be. They (the Germans) seemed as though they were short of food as they even begged bully beef and we gave it to them freely. They are quite a young lot of chaps, ranging from 16 upwards. I was talking to several of them and they said they were fed up and ready to throw in and no doubt you will see it in the Sentinel in due course. We had a fine Christmas box from Princess Mary and one from the Staffordshire Sentinel containing a pound box of chocolate and a New Year's gift from the same source of 20 packets of cigarettes and eight ounces of tobacco in addition to which we also had eight packets of cigarettes from B company of the North Staffords at home.

1915 Jan & FebT and until the 10th March the Battalion the battalion in the Rue du Bois sector and in billets in the Lunatic Asylum in Armentieres. After relief by the 2/Leinsters on the night of the 10th/11th March the Battalion were ordered to attack the hamlet of Epinette at midnight 11th /12th. Operation successful and objectives gained by 2am. 4am on 12th March a heavy counter-attack developed but was repulsed. The Battalion remained in trenches in Epinette until the 15th March, during which time they held off other counter-attacks, severely punishing the enemy.

1915 Oct 18 1st N Staffs: transferred to 72nd Brigade in 24th Division.

1916 Dec 14. Married Doris Kathleen Vokes in London

1917 Jul 28 To be 2nd Lt for service in the field. N Staff Regt.—Co. Serjt.-Maj. W. Genders, from M.G.C., and to be seed, for duty with M.G. Corps.

1917 Nov 28 Army List. North Staffordshire Regiment. 1st & 2nd Bn’s. 2nd Lieutenant (Seconded for service with the Machine Gun Corps). Genders W, 28 July17

1918 Nov 28 Army List. North Staffordshire Regiment , 1st & 2nd Bn’s, 2nd Lieutenant, (Seconded for service with the Machine Gun Corps). Genders W, 28 July17

1919 Jan 28 Lt. W. Genders, promoted from 2nd Lt to Lt.

1919 May 11 - Oct 7 With MGC in Russia. Day by day account of Russia with MGC

1919 Nov 27. Army List. North Staffordshire Regiment, 1st & 2nd Bn’s, Lieutenant (Seconded for service with the Machine Gun Corps). Genders W, 28 Jan 19

When Genders returned from Russia his family believe he was recruited with another MGC man by Basil Thomson of Scotland Yard for intelligence work in Ireland and that the other man was shot by the IRA. The assumption is this other man was Angliss , also MGC in Russia.

1920 Jun 17. 'EM/2/961.I.V.4273E /17.6.20' which might indicate a "Mentioned in Despatches" 17 June 1920

1920 Aug 14. Retires, receiving a gratuity N Staffs Regt.

1920 Nov 29 Army List. Reserve of Officers North Staffordshire Regiment. Lieutenant (War Service) Genders W 28 Jan19

1938 Nov 24. The undermentioned having attained the age limit of liability to recall, cease to belong to the Res. of Off.: North Stafford Regt—Lt W. Genders.

1939 Register Living at with wife Kathleen at 6 Fairfax Road , Derby C.B., Derbyshire, England . He is a Railway clerk and ex-officer

1961 Died Belper Derbyshire Jul/Sep 1961. His wife seems to have died in Belper in 1966


British Intelligence at Dublin Castle