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  • Buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery. The family chose a private headstone for the grave.
Person Details
Mansfield Nottinghamshire
William was the son of William and Lucy Renshaw nee Wood. William's, parents, William and Lucy, were both born in Mansfield; William's birth was registered in 1858 (J/F/M Mansfield) and Lucy was born in 1857 (A/M/J Mansfield). William and Lucy were married in 1877 (A/M/J Mansfield) and had nine children all of whom were born in Mansfield: Emma b. 1877 (O/N/D Mansfield), John b. 26 January 1880 (birth registered 1880 J/F/M Mansfield), William b. 1882 (J/A/S Mansfield), Ernest b. 1885 (J/A/S Mansfield), Ethel May b. 28 May 1890 (J/A/S Mansfield), Arthur b. 1893 (J/A/S Mansfield), Agnes b. 1898 (O/N/D Mansfield) and Doris b. 1901 (A/M/J Mansfield). In 1881 William (23), a pork butcher, and Lucy (24) were living at 2 Bakers Court, Mansfield, with their two children Emma (3) and John (1). They were still at the same address at the time of the 1891 Census. They now had six children, but only five were in the home on the night of the census: John (11), William (8), Ernest (5), Lucy (2) and Ethel May (10 months). The family had moved to 23 Church Street, Mansfield, by 1901. William (43) was now a tripe dresser on his own account. He and Lucy (44) now had eight children all of whom were at home on the night of the census: Emma, John, William, Ernest, Lucy, Ethel, Arthur (8) and Agnes (2). The eldest son, John, married Annie Carlin (b. 27 February 1882) in 1902 (J/A/S Mansfield) and in 1911 they were living at 63 Station Street, Mansfield Woodhouse. They had had two children but only one, Winifred (8), survived. John (31) was a tripe dresser on his own account and his nephew Harry Radford (20), who lived with the family, was assisting him in his business. Another nephew, Walter Radford (18), who also lived with the family, was a coal miner hewer. According to the 1939 register, John and Lucy were probably still living at 63 Station Street. John was still a tripe dresser on his own account but was now also a salt and yeast merchant. He and his wife had had at least two more children: Elsie b. 2 August 1912 and John 'Junior' b. 26 September 1920 who was an assistant tripe dresser and delivery man. John senior died in 1942 (March Mansfield) aged 62. William and Lucy were still living on Church Street in 1911. Eight of their children were in the home on the night of the census including their eldest daughter, Emma (33), who was described as married (Marshall) although the date of her marriage has not yet been traced. Also in the household were William (28), Ernest (25) and Arthur (18) who were all tripe dressers in their father's business, and their sisters, Ethel (20), Agnes (12) and Doris (9). William's sister, Ethel May, married Harry Lager (b. 2 October 1888) in 1913 (J/F/M Mansfield). In 1939 Harry, a cashier in a glass works, and Ethel were living in Chesterfield. Also living with them was their son Ronald (b. 25 June 1913) who was a maintenance fitter at a glass works. Ethel died in 1976 (September Chesterfield) aged 86. William's mother, Lucy, died on 25th September 1921 (September Mansfield) aged 64 and his father William in 1926 (March Mansfield) aged 68. They were living at 16 Dallas Street, Mansfield, at the time of Lucy's death and William continued to live there until his death five years later.
At the time of the 1901 and 1911 census William was working in his father's business as a tripe dresser.
03 May 1917
2750066 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Mansfield, residence 28 Church Street, Mansfield
Lincolnshire Regiment
Private William Renshaw served with the Labour Corps, Lincolnshire Regiment. He committed suicide on 8th May 1917 at the rear of the Eight Bells Inn, Church Street, Mansfield, prior to being sent out to France. He is buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery.
His date of death is given on CWGC as 8 May 1917 but as 3 May1917 on headstone. The inquest into the suicide of a man found at the rear of the Eight Bells Inn, Church Street, Mansfield, was held on 9th May 1917. At home on leave before being sent to France, Pte. William Renshaw, Labour Company, Lincolnshire Regiment, was said to have been terrified at the prospect. Despite evidence being produced to show that he was not physically fit for military service, the Coroner refrained from criticising those who had passed him as such. The need for more men meant that some who were indeed unfit at the time of their medical inspection were passed if the doctors considered their health could be improved by military training. “DISTRESSING STORY. “MANSFIELD SOLDIER’S SUICIDE. “THE CORONER AND MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS. “Dear Father end Mother, — l cannot stand the suffering any longer. Try to forget your broken-hearted son. I know it is not my fault that I doing this terrible deed. The Government is to blame. I cannot stand the torture any longer. From your son Will Remember me to all my friends. Good-bye.” “This pathetic note was found yesterday morning [8th May 1917] on the body of William Renshaw, aged 34, single, a private in the Lincolnshire Labour Battalion, who committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor in a farmhouse at the rear of the Eight Bells Inn, Church-street, Mansfield. Before going into the army he his father, who is a tripe dresser in Church-street. “At the inquest held by Mr. D. Whittingham this afternoon [9th May 1917] the father said his son had only been in the army for eight weeks, and in this period he had spent five weeks in various military hospitals. He had been ill for over a year with gastritis and he was ill when he came home last Saturday [5th May 1917] on leave before going out to France. He said did not want to back and witness knew his son had a terror of being sent to France, as he said he would rather work night and day than go out there. On Monday [7th May 1917] he went to see Dr. Tate on account of his swollen legs and was told was suffering from rheumatism. He was depressed and thoroughly ill that day. Deceased had been under Dr. Harper, of Nottingham, for a long time. “A DOCTOR'S CERTIFICATE. “Witness produced a medical certificate dated December, 1916, to the effect that deceased was suffering from a breakdown of his digestive organs, and had a painful digestion, a dilated stomach, and lost flesh, was living on a milk diet, and was totally unable to eat ordinary food. He went to Derby to be examined by the Medical Board three times, and took medical papers with him. Each time he was sent back on account of his illness, but the fourth time he was passed into category C2. “William Kingscott, manager of the Eight Bells Inn, spoke to finding deceased lying dead in the fowl-house with his throat cut. He saw deceased on Monday, when he was very poorly. “CORONER’S REMARKS. “The Coroner said whether the military doctor who passed deceased thought that with renewed effort and altered conditions he might recover and get stronger he did not know. It had been an extremely difficult matter for doctors in examining men for the army to come to a conclusion in each case and be would be the last to criticise them. It might be that deceased was more feeble than the doctors thought and how far it was impressed upon them that he was unfit (the Coroner) could not say. One would have thought the deceased would have been exempted under the circumstances shown by the documents produced, for they hardly showed that he was fit for Government service. It certainly seemed surprising under the circumstances stated that he should have been passed into the army, because he was bringing trouble upon the authorities rather than helping them. The doctors had by no means an easy task to come to proper conclusions, but he was sure they tried to do their duty. It was probable, the attention of the authorities would be called to the case. “Verdict: “Suicide whilst temporarily insane.” [1] [1] 'Nottingham Evening Post,' 9th May 1917. Above details are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Mansfield Reporter, ‘Deaths’, 11 May 1917: ‘Renshaw. On the 11th inst., William Renshaw, Church-street, Mansfield, aged 34 years.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘Deaths’, 30 September 1921: ‘Renshaw. On the 25th September, at 16, Dallas Street, Mansfield, Lucy, wife of William Renshaw (late of Church Street) age 64 years.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 5 March 1926: ‘Renshaw. The sons and daughters of the late Mr W Renshaw, of 16, Dallas Street, Mansfield, desire to thank all friends for sympathy in their bereavement.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery. The family chose a private headstone for the grave.
    William Renshaw - Buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery. The family chose a private headstone for the grave.
  • Buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery.
    William Renshaw - Buried in Mansfield (Nottingham Road) Cemetery.