Granville Mission Church now located at Blists Hill Victorian Town.

William Doody (1885-1918)

William was an ordinary labourer at a colliery who made the ultimate sacrifice 'for King and country'.

William Doody during the First World War.

William Doody was born William Palin in St George’s in 1885. The illegitimate son of Mary Ann Palin, a ‘general labouring woman’, when William was four years old his mother married John Doody of Granville Buildings in Donnington, In 1896 a new Mission Church was built in Donnington and the Doody family were regular attendees.

By the age of 15 William was working at the local colliery, and was still there war broke out in 1914. He enlisted into the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) and landed in France in mid-January 1916. Shortly after, William experienced one of the most notable moments of his military career. During a battle near Ypres in April 1916, William was shot through the knee. Badly wounded, he managed to crawl to the German trenches and helped to hold them with his fellow soldiers for 36 hours against two counter attacks.

William recovered from his injuries and in September 1918 was back at the front, stationed with the KSLI 10th Battalion somewhere between Longavesnes and Villers-Faucon in France. On 7 September 1918, William was killed in action. He was buried in France and a memorial plaque was erected in the  Mission Church in Granville that William had attended as a boy.

In 1977, the Mission Church was moved from Granville and re-opened at Blists Hill. More than a century after his death, the memorial plaque to William can still be seen in the church today.