The Thiepval Memorial.
The Royal Navy had a surplus of men to ships and they were organised into the Royal Naval Division.
They fought as soldiers with a rifle in khaki, but retained Naval traditions.
The Hood Battalion was part of the 63rd Brigade R N Division.
The Brigade moved to Dunkirk on 5th October 1914.
In the haste to organise and move the units to Belgium, 80% went to war without even basic equipment such as packs,
mess tins or water bottles.
No khaki uniform was issued to start with.
The two Naval Brigades were armed with ancient charger-loading rifles, only 3 days before embarking.
The Brigade fought in Gallipoli, after which very few men with sea service remained.
The Division transferred from the authority of the Admiralty to the War Office on 29th April 1916, and was
designated the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division on 19th July 1916.
From Gallipoli the Division moved to France, arriving Marseilles 12-23rd May 1916, after which it remained on
the Western Front.
It fought on the Somme 1916 and Ypres 1917.
At the time of William E Mills' death, his Battalion were fighting in an area near Cambrai called "Welch Ridge".
There had been a British attack against the formidable Hindenberg Line, the strongest point of the German defences
It included two lines of fortifications, with barbed wire belts tens of yards wide, concrete emplacements
and underground works.
A third parallel line was also under construction.