What happened to William, the 17 year old violin student who went war in 1915?
Why is he particularly interesting? Well, he was from Belgium.
De Cort William (Wiliam De Cort?) was a 17 year old violinist who came to the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1915. Just 3 terms later, Mid Summer 1916, our registers note his reason for leaving simply as ‘War’.
During that time, Belgium was German occupied territory and in early 1915, brutal measures were put in place to stop the thousands of refugees fleeing Belgium to Britan.
So why was this young boy going back in the first place? If you had a ‘get out of gaol free’ card (almost literally) why would you go back? He only stays 3 terms and then as soon as he turns 18 he springboards back to German occupied Belgium.
According to my quick research, Belgium had national service or conscription at this time. So, perhaps he was pulled back to Belgium as he was registered as a Belgium national still.
So, my question for you my friends is: where can we find out more information? This single entry is all we have about him. Where are the Belgium military records? Anyone done any research?