Manchester Hill Challenge



Look at the 1911 census for the soldier William Thompson who was later killed at

Manchester Hill in 1918. Using the census find out about his life and family before

he became a soldier. Answer a few questions and draw up a simple family tree.

What is a Census?

A census is a survey that contains a specific set of questions to find out and record information about members of the population. It is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same basic questions to all. Since 1801 and every ten years since (except during the war years) the government has set aside one day for holding a ‘census’. The last census was held in March 2011.

The census will show where a person was living, who else was living in the

household, occupation (job), the family connections the householders had to each

other, whether they were married or single and place of birth.

The census is set out in the following way:

  • Head of the household
  • wife
  • children in age order

How will I do this:

Look at the 1911 census for William Thompson here (he is the 3rd person on the list). Answer the following questions and draw a family tree for William. Use this template here to assist you. Include his parents, his brothers and sisters and his wife and child. It might be helpful to look at some examples of other family trees before you start.

Find out the following:

1.    What are the names of William's father and mother?

2.    How many brothers has William got?

3.    How many sisters has William got?

4.    How old is William in 1911? Can you work out roughly when he was born?

5.    Where was he born?

6.    What is William's job? (Try to find out what this is)

7.    What is his father's job?

8.    Where are the family living? (look at the bottom right hand corner)

9.    How many rooms are in the house?

10. How many people were living in the house?

Additional information:

A few years later William married Emily Greenhouse and they had a son called Frederick.

William was killed on 21st March 1918.

William's body was never found so his name is one of the 14,656 listed on the Pozieres Memorial in France. William's name is on Panel 64 to 67.       

 His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in May 1988.

Suggested  resources and useful websites:

You can read more about William and see a photograph him on the Museum of the

Manchester Regiment website at:{Person%20identity}={Thompson,%20W})

The Manchester Hill Resource section on this website has a powerpoint about William Thompson.  This includes a transcription of the 1911 census:

The Pozieres Memorial, WILLIAM


Family Trees