The Parratt’s were a long-standing and well-known Stockport family. William's father, Charles, had been licensee of the Victoria Hotel on Hillgate and his grandfather, also called William, had been a police sergeant (although by the time of the 1901 Census, he was retired, aged 64). Charles Parratt had married Annie Brindley between October and December 1888. In 1892, William was born, and it is known he had a brother. Around 1909, William joined the army as a regular soldier and served in Belfast and, later, in India. The 2nd Cheshire’s didn't return from India until 24 December 1914. There would have only been time for a very short visit back to Stockport to visit his mother (Charles is believed to have died by this time) at the family home at 12 Palmer View, Alpine Road. In early January, the Battalion left for France. In the next few months, William was twice wounded and gassed once. These seem to have been relatively minor incidents which did not keep him away from duty for long. On 3 October, the battalion were fighting at the Battle of Loos. The battalion war diary states:
2nd October 1915 5AM
The enemy bombarded the companies holding the WEST FACE of the HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT with bombs, trench mortars and aerial torpedoes, bombardment was continued throughout the day.
12 Midnight No1. Company supported the Suffolk Regiment in an attack on the North face of the redoubt, attack failed. Captain Ogden (Durham L I and 2nd Lt Raikes were wounded)
Enemy continued bombardment throughout the night.
7:30am 3rd October: Captain Freeman was sent to command a part of the Northumberland Fusiliers on the South West side of the Redoubt, the officers of this party having been wounded. Enemy bombing incessantly.
7:45am The enemy delivered an unexpected attack on our left with bombs and machine guns and eventually turned it. The battalion fought well but were driven back. Enemy occupied the WEST FACE
WEST FACE of the HOHENZOLLERN REDOUBT
Major Hill and Capatin Lloyd were killed 2nd Lt Paton. Morris and Aldersey wounded, 2nd Lt’s Cove and Brien missing.
Casualties from the 30th September to 3rd October both dates inclusive.
Officers 5 Killed. 7 Wounded. 2 Missing. Total 14
Other Ranks 43 Killed. 153 Wounded. 166 Missing. Total 362
5pm 3rd October battalion was withdrawn to Vermelles and slept.
During the fighting on the 3rd William was killed. His body was never found and identified. His brother served in the Navy, aboard HMS Larkspur, which was an early type of minesweeper. After the war, their mother had remarried, to a Mr Williamson, and was living at 23 Withens Road in the Portwood area of town.