- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1914/08/04
- Latest 1920/04/30
- Inscription (obverse/avers) HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR/WILLIAM ANNING (reverse/revers) V-E DAY MAY 8, 45/V-J DAY AUG 16, 45/Written by: Bobby Anning
- Materials Bronze
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 26th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Anning, Private William
- Measurements Thickness 0.5 cm, Outside Diameter 12.0 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Anning, William
William Anning was born in Digswell, Hertfordshire, England, on 8 September 1890. He was the son of John Anning, a gardener, and Adelaide Anning. The Annings’ middle child, he had three older brothers, three younger sisters and a younger brother.
Anning and his family immigrated to Canada in 1910, five years after his father died at the age of 51. Anning was trained in the care of horses but was working as a chauffeur in New Brunswick when war was declared in 1914. He enlisted almost immediately, joining the 26th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on 18 November 1914 in Saint John, New Brunswick. Anning sailed to England on SS Caledonia, arriving on 24 June 1915, and was sent to France on 15 September 1915. After being wounded in the head by shrapnel while serving in the trenches near Saint-Julien, Belgium, on 12 February 1916, he was hospitalized for two weeks at No. 23 General Hospital in Étaples, France. On 2 March 1916, having recovered from his wound, he rejoined the 26th Battalion in the field.
In July 1916, Anning was appointed batman (officer’s servant) to Captain Percy Douglas McAvity at the 2nd Army Signal School, later returning to his battalion. On 6 August 1918, he was posted to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade headquarters.
On 18 October 1918, Anning was taken to No. 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station suffering from a fever. He was later transferred to No. 56 General Hospital in Étaples, where he died on 25 October 1918. The cause of death was recorded as pneumonia aggravated by field conditions.
William Anning is buried in Étaples Military Cemetery, in France.