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  • Family headstone Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
Person Details
William Russell was the son of Thomas and Eliza Leach Russell (née Gibson). Both his parents were born in Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland, Thomas, the son of William Russell, in about 1861 and Eliza, the daughter of Thomas Gibson, on 16 July 1860. They were married at the parish church of St Pancras, Camden, London, on 27 April 1884. Thomas (23) was living at St Saviour [parish] Nottngham, and Eliza Leach (24) at 21 Endleigh Gardens (no additional details). Thomas and Eliza had four children who were born in Nottingham: Chrissie b. 1 February 1885 bap. Nottingham St Saviour 4 March 1885; Agnes b. 3 March 1888 bap. Radford All Saints 25 April 1888; William birth registered 1891 (J/F/M) bap. All Saints 25 January 1891 and Charles birth registered 1895 (J/F/M) bap. All Saints 20 January 1895. At the time of Chrissie's baptism in 1885 Thomas and Eliza were living on Kirkby Street, Meadows, but by 1888 when Agnes was baptised they were living at Filey Cottages, Ireton Street, Nottingham. Thomas, a printer compositor, and Eliza were still at the same address in 1891 along with their three children, Chrissie (9) Agnes (3) and William (under one), and Eliza's brother, Robert Gibson (26 b. Berwick-on-Tweed) a tailor. Thomas died in 1895 (A/M/J) shortly after the birth of his fourth child, Charles, and by 1901 his widow had moved to 30 Walter Street, Nottingham, with her four children, Chrissie a shorthand clerk, Agnes, William and Charles (6). Her brother Robert, a tailor's cutter, was still living with the family. All four children were still living with their mother at 30 Walter Street, in 1911: Chrissie and Agnes were employed as typists, William was an electrical engineer and Charles a tailor's assistant. Also in the household was a boarder, Annie Wilson, a sewing machinist. William married Katie Eveline Hopkinson in 1915 (A/M/J). Katie was the daughter of Thomas and Kate Hopkinson and in 1911 the family was living at 40 Derby Grove, Nottingham. Katie was a lace pattern girl. William served in France from October 1915 and it appears that his wife continued to live with her parents at 40 Derby Grove after her marriage. William and Katie's son, Kenneth William, was born nine weeks after his father's death but died on 7 December aged four days. The baby is probably buried in Nottingham General Cemetery. According to information on the medal roll index card Katie later lived at 'Fair View', Hilton Road, Mapperley, Nottingham. William's mother, Eliza, was still living at 30 Walter Street in 1939 when the England and Wales Register was compiled. Also in the household were her unmarried daughters, Chrissie and Agnes, who were both employed as shorthand typists. Eliza died at home on 20 August 1940. Agnes died in 1965 and Chrissie on 4 November 1972; the probate record gives Chrissie's address as Beckhampton Road, Bestwood Park Estate, Nottingham. Charles married Gladys I Gandy in 1919. There may have been one child, Frank J. born in 1922 who died in 1927. Charles died at his home on Byfield Street, Nottingham, on 26 May 1934.
Attemded All Saints School. In 1911 he was an electrical engineer.
27 Sep 1918
300568 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
Tank Corps
Formerly Seaforth Highlanders (S/6819 Private) and Tank Corps (76721 Private). Commissioned second lieutenant and appointed 15th Bn Tank Corps. London Gazette, 19 February 1918: Tank Corps - William Russell William served in France from 7 October 1915 with the Seaforth Highlanders before transferring to the Tank Corps which was formed in 1916. William was killed in action at Cambrai on 27 September 1918 and is buried in Hermies Hill British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France (grave ref. II. D. 36). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Hermies Hill British Cemetery (extract): 'Hermies was seized on the morning of the 9th April 1917, by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Australian Infantry Battalions. It was held against the advancing Germans on the 22nd March 1918, by the 17th Division, but evacuated on the following day; and it was retaken in September 1918 ... The cemetery was begun in November 1917, and carried on by fighting units until March 1918, and further graves were added in the following September. These original burials comprise nearly the whole of Plot I; the remaining three Plots were added after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from a wide area round Hermies and from certain small cemeteries [listed]'
All Saints Church News, November 1918: 'Will Russell, Second Lieutenant in the Tank Corps, killed in action on September 27th, the son of Mr and Mrs Russell, 30 Walter Street. He was an old All Saints Boy. He was 27 years of age and leaves a widow who resides at 40 Derby Grove.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 26 & 28 May 1934: ‘Russell. On May 26th, suddenly, at 26 Byfield-street, Charles, dearly loved husband of Gladys and devoted son of Mrs Russell, 30 Walter-street. Service Wednesday, All Saints’ Church, 10.30am., Wilford Hill 11.15am.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 21 August 1940: ‘Russell. On August 20th, at 30 Walter-street, Eliza devoted and dearest mother of Chrissie and Agnes. Service All Saints’ Church, Friday, 11.15am. Interment General Cemetery, top end. 11.45am.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Family headstone Nottingham General Cemetery: (Also of) 2nd Lieut William Russell, Tank Corps, son of the above [Thomas Russell], killed in action 27th Sept 1918 at Cambrai, France, aged 27 years. Also of Kenneth William Russell, infant son of the above, died 7th December 1918 aged 4 days. Nottingham Evening Post, 7 October 1918: ‘The Roll of Honour. Killed. Sec.-Lieut. Will Russell. Tank Corps, late Seaforth Highlanders, the husband of Mrs Russell, 40, Derby-grove, Nottingham, was killed in action on September 27th. He was 27 years of age, and had held a commission since January this year.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 7 October 1918: ‘Russell. Killed in action, September 27th, Sec.-Lieut Wiliam Russell (Tank Corps), elder son of the late Thomas Russell and Mrs Russell, of 30, Walter-street, aged 27.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 27 September 1919: ‘Russell. In loving memory of Second-Lieut. William Russell, killed in action Sept. 27th, 1918. Brother Charlie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Family headstone Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
    William Russell - Family headstone Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand
  • Hermies Hill British Cemetery, France (www.cwgc.org)
    William Russell - Hermies Hill British Cemetery, France (www.cwgc.org)