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Person Details
25 May 1896
William was born in Fenton on 25th May 1896 and was baptised on 6th July 1896 at St Peters church Sturton le Steeple he was the son of Austin a general farm labourer and Clara Brackenbury (nee Hartley) he had 9 siblings .In 1900 Clara died leaving Austin to bring up such a large family. By the 1901 census Austin is shown as a widow living at Fenton and by the 1911 census William has left home , he is 14 years of age and a general farm labourer and is living in Fenton with Hannah Hare a widow. We next find William emigrating on a ship called 'Alsation' which departed The Port of Liverpool on 14th March 1914 he is listed as being 17 years of age and a farm labourer. He arrived on 21st March 1914 in Halifax,Nova Scotia, Canada, following the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Canadian Army. Further tragedy was to strike the family during the 'Great War' Austin would have been proud as two of his sons Frank and William joined up to fight for 'King and Country' but would soon be devastated as both were to die before the wars end.
02 Sep 1918
253726 - CWGC Website
Elgin, Manitoba,Canada
78th Bn Canadian Infantry
In the service file records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force can be found a draft document dated 5th January 1918 at Brandon, Manitoba, Canada for William. It states he was living at Elgin Manitoba and that his date of birth was 25th May 1896 and that he was born in Fenton,near Retford in England. It states he is single a farm labourer and his religion is that of Church of England. His next of kin being his father Austin of Claraborough,Nottinghamshire. His medical examination was on 15th November 1917 at Brandon in which he is described as 21 years and 8 months old , he is 5 feet 7 inches tall , having a dark complexion and blue eyes with light brown hair. He went onto serve with the 74th battalion Manitoba Regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On 2nd September 1918 during an action he was shot in the head and died instantly ,he is buried in Drury Mill British Cemetery. grave 5 , plot 1 , row B
His younger brother Frank also served and died in the 'Great war' on 4th November 1918 in Germany he was a prisoner of war. Additional information from Elaine Brackenbury
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