This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in New York.
William Richard Eveleigh was born on 29 June 1881 at Dartington near Totnes in Devon, the sixth of the ten children of John and Harriet Eveleigh. The family moved to Rattery in 1892. His father and brothers were farm labourers and that is how William Eveleigh was employed until he enlisted into the Royal Marine Light Infantry at Totnes on 28 August 1899. He was allocated the number 9932.
After his recruit training at the Depot at Deal, he finished his training as a ship’s gunner at Plymouth and joined the cruiser HMS Niobe on 10 December 1900—she acted as an escort for troopships at the latter stages of the South African War but he joined the ship too late to receive the Queen’s South Africa Medal. After a period ashore at Devonport he then served almost continually with the Fleet, interspersed with brief periods ashore. Continue reading