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  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times on 7th June 1918 following the death of William Mead
Person Details
Lythe North Yorkshire
William's parents, William, a woodsman, and Ann, both came from Lythe, a village to the north of Whitby, North Yorkshire. They had a number of children including Margaret born 1874, Anne born 1879, Henry born 1881, John born 1885, Harriet born 1887 and William born 1888; they were all born in Lythe. William snr. died between 1888 and 1891, leaving Ann to bring up their children. In the 1891 Census she was the caretaker at the local school. All the children were living with her at this time including William who was 3 years old. By the 1901 census when William was 13 years old, he was still living in Lythe with his widowed mother and also his older siblings John and Harriet. By 1911 William (23) had left home and was a boarder living with Mary Ann Oxley (75 years) at 72 North Road, Clowne, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. He was working as a grocer's assistant. In 1913 he married Jenny Needham at Retford and they had two children, Violet Annie born 1913 and Eric born 1915. The CWGC record gave his widow's address as 2 Tiln Road., Retford.
He was employed by the Retford Co-operative Society and by Wright Bros.
29 Apr 1918
30
480871 - CWGC Website
235488
Private
6th Bn Leicestershire Regiment
William enlisted in Newark and served with service number 306301 in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). However he was later transferred to the 6th battalion Leicestershire Regiment. William went to France on 27th October 1915 (medal card index) and was killed by shellfire on 29th April 1918. He is buried in Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery, Belgium (grave reference I.O.12).
'Pte William Mead' Retford Times 7th June 1918 'Another Retford soldier to fall is Private William Mead, husband of Mrs Mead, 2 Tiln Road, Retford. The circumstances of his death are explained in the course of a letter written by Lance Corpl Gleaden to his wife:- “We were in a hot corner under a heavy barrage and a shell fell where we were taking shelter. Poor Mead was killed instantaneously and Beardsall was so severely wounded that he died two days later. I was terribly upset when I heard about it next morning. They were such promising young men and Beardsall was in for promotion. They were chums to be proud of and were most devoted to each other. I had the highest respect and esteem for them both. We had often spoken of the happy times we would spend together if we had the luck to pull through. Mead was one of the squarest of men I have met and he tried to do his best for all. Please covey my deepest sympathy to Mrs Mead and Mrs Beardsall.” It appears that Lance Corpl Gleaden and Ptes Mead and Beardsall had served three years in the Sherwood Foresters. They had all been home on leave having been wounded etc. and returned together to France on Easter Sunday. It was then that they transferred to the Leicesters. The late Pte Mead was a native of Whitby and had lived at Retford for seven years. He was employed by the Retford Co-operative Society and by Wright Bros. He was 30 years of age and leaves two children. Two of his brothers have been discharged from the Army having been incapacitated. Mrs Mead is sister of Mr F Needham, Biggins Cottage, Babworth.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph first published in the Retford Times on 7th June 1918 following the death of William Mead
    William Mead - Photograph first published in the Retford Times on 7th June 1918 following the death of William Mead
  • Buried in Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery Extension.
    William Mead - Buried in Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery Extension.