William Henry Hayes was the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Hayes, of Mount Terrace, Lane End. From the 1911 census, Joseph was a boiler cleaner at a colliery. William Henry had two younger brothers, Peter and Robert Wilfred, and a younger sister, Florence.
William Henry’s death was announced in the County Herald, August 30, 1918
Pte. W. H. Hayes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hayes, Lane End, who had been reported wounded and missing since March 20th, 1917, is now officially reported to have died on that date or since.
William Henry Hayes was one of four Buckley soldiers who died on 26 March 1917 at the First Battle of Gaza, the others being William Cox, Edmund Godfrey Catherall, and Arthur Millington. All are named either on the Jerusalem Memorial or Gaza War Cemetery. Edward Catherall from Pentrobin, named on the Hawarden Memorial, also died 26 March and is named on the Jerusalem Memorial. From an article on Wikipedia, British casualties amounted to 4,000; 523 killed, 2932 wounded and over 512 missing. The CWGC website list 175 men from the RWF who died on 26th March, named on Jerusalem or Gaza memorials, and 6 who died on 27th March.
The RWF were part of the 158th (North Wales) brigade which advanced from Mansura, attacking a position called Ali Muntar. “The attacking infantry brigades met with stubborn opposition from determined defenders, firing from strong entrenchments with a clear view of the infantry line of advance, over completely open ground. In these conditions, the attacking infantry’s artillery support proved inadequate and a very high number of casualties was suffered.”