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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Warsop Nottinghamshire
William Henry Featherston was the third son of Frank and Jane Featherston (née Wilkinson). Both his parents were born in Warsop. Frank was born in 1859, the son of Francis Featherston and his wife Elizabeth (née Wilkinson m. 1840 Warsop SS Peter & Paul). Francis was a cordwainer and later a shoe maker and his son Frank followed him in the business as a shoe and boot maker. Jane Wilkinson was born in 1856. Frank and Jane were married at SS Peter & Paul in December 1881 and had five children, two of whom died in infancy. All the children were born in Warsop: Frank Evelyn b. 1884, Arthur b. 1885 d. 1885, William Henry b. 1886, Edith Annie birth registered 1889 and Reginald John b. 1895 death registered 1896 (J/F/M). Frank and Jane were living on Downey Hill, Warsop, in 1891 with their three surviving children, Frank (7), William (4) and Edith (2). Their second son Arthur had died in 1885 and their youngest child Reginald, who was born four years later in 1895, also died in infancy. By 1901 the family was still living in Warsop but was now at 6 Burns Road (probably also known as Appleton Cottage) and this was still the family home when Frank snr. died in 1931. By 1911 only two of the three children were still living at home, William Henry who was an assistant in his father's bootmaking business and Edith Ann for whom no occupation was given. The eldest son, Frank Evelyn, an elementary school teacher, was living and working in Birkenhead. Frank snr. died in April 1931 and his wife Jane in 1932 (reg. J/F/M). Their daughter Edith married John William Porter in 1933 and at the time of her death in 1948 they were living at Appleton Cottage. Edith was survived by her husband and brother Frank Evelyn. Frank Evelyn served in the 2nd Warwickshires (Volunteers) for 5 years but attested in the Territorial Force (2949, 5th (Reserve) Bn West Yorkshire Regiment) at York on 14 December 1914. He was then living in York with his wife Lily Maria (née Elkins) whom he had married in 1912. Frank transferred to embodied service on 15 December and served at home until being transferred to the Royal Engineers (113177 Corporal), joining at Chatham on 19 August 1915. His service papers were noted 'chemist', presumably referring to knowledge he brought from his profession as a teacher. Frank served with the BEF France from 30 August 1915 until 10 January 1916. He served at home between 11 January and 4 February when he was discharged under KR para 392 (xxv), that is release approved after being assessed as permanently physically unfit for war service. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Attended Mansfield Brunts School. Bootmaker in his father's business. Member of Warsop Conservative Club and the Rising Star Lodge of Oddfellows (Manchester Unit). Attended Warsop SS Peter & Paul, Sunday school teacher. Member of local football and cricket clubs
20 Jul 1917
29
143821 - CWGC Website
29943
Appleton Cottages, Burns Lane, Warsop. Enlisted Mansfield.
Private
7/8th Bn King's Own Scottish Borderers
7/8th Bn King's Own Scottish Borderers. Prevously 2/5th Bn KOSB. Formerly North Staffordshire Regiment (37038). Private William Henry Featherston enlisted at Mansfield, home address Warsop, on 2 March 1916. William served in France from early 1917 and was admitted to hospital in about May 1917 suffering from dysentery. He suffered shell wounds to both legs on 20 July 1917 and died of his wounds at the 10th Casualty Clearing Station the same day. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (grave ref. XVI. D. 20A). CWGC - History of Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (extract): Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery is 12 kms west of Ieper [Ypres]. 'During the First World War, the village of Lijssenthoek was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations. The cemetery was first used by the French 15th Hopital D'Evacuation and in June 1915, it began to be used by casualty clearing stations of the Commonwealth forces. From April to August 1918, the casualty clearing stations fell back before the German advance and field ambulances (including a French ambulance) took their places.' (www.cwgc.org)
William's brother Frank Evelyn, served with the Royal Engineers in France during the war but was discharged in February 1916. (See 'family history.') CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Thy will be done' Mansfield Reporter, 11 May 1917: ‘Warsop. Wounded … We are pleased to hear that Pte. WH Featherston, the younger son of Mr F Featherston, who has been in hospital in France suffering from dysentery, has now recovered.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 27 July 1917: ‘Warsop Private Wounded. Mr Frank Featherston, of Warsop, received the following telegram on Monday morning last: ‘Much regret to inform you that your son, 29943, Private W Featherston, 7-8th, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was dangerously wounded – shell wounds – in both legs, on 20th July, admitted 10th Casualty Clearing Station, France. Regret permission to visit him cannot be granted.’ At the time of writing this note, no further news has been received, although Mr F Featherston has wired to the authorities to be informed of the progress of his son. Much sympathy is expressed with the family. Pte. Featherston – 29 years of age – joined up on the 2nd March, 1916, and was attached to the Sherwood Foresters. Later on during his training he was transferred to the North Staffords, and still later was again transferred to the 2-5th King’s Own Scottish Borderers. In the early part of this year he was drafted out to France and was again transferred to the 2-5th King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Of late he has been attached to the Royal Engineers. We hope for better news.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 27 July 1917: ‘Private Featherston, Warsop, Killed. On page 2, column 4, of this issue we announced that Private W Featherston, son of Mr Frank Featherston, was dangerously wounded. Just before going to press, news reched us that he has succumbed to his injuries, we regret to state.’ (www.britishnewspapeararchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 3 August 1917 (photograph): ‘Private Wm. Hy. Featherstone Dies From Wounds. As briefly announced in our last issue, another honoured name to add to Warsop’s roll of honour, is that of Pte, William Henry Featherston, the younger son of Mr F and Mrs Featherston, of Appleton Cottage, Warsop. The sad intelligence was received on Thursday afternoon of last week, by telegram from the Record Office, and this was followed by an official letter, stating that the gallant solider died in the 10th Casualty Clearing Station, France, on the 20th July, from wounds received in action on the 20th July. The news cast quite a gloom over the parish in which the deceased young fellow and his parents were well known and highly respected, and the greatest sympathy has been extended to his sorrowing parents and brother and sister. Private Featherston was 30 years of age, and was born in Warsop. After attending the National School at Warsop, he succeeded in gaining a scholarship tenable at Brunts School, Mansfield, which school he attended for two years. In civil life he assisted his father in the boot and shoe repairing business. He was as an enthusiast in all kinds of sports, and had been associated with the local cricket and football clubs for a number of years. In addition to being an active and useful playing member, he served on the management of both clubs. He took a keen interest in the doings of the Warsop Conservative Club, being a member of the committee. He was extremely helpful in the capacity of managing whist drives, and the tournaments frequently held at that institution. His, indeed, was a busy and useful life, well spent. He was an ardent and enthusiastic Oddfellow, and had gained all the local distinctions the Rising Star Lodge of Oddfellows (Manchester Unit) could offer, having taken all the degrees and offices in the afore-mentioned Lodge, of which his father is secretary. He was a true and loyal Churchman, and for years had taken his place regularly and punctually as a Sunday school teacher. He was always ever ready and willing to assist in any worthy cause for the good of the parish and his fellowmen. He had a wonderfully cheerful disposition, and the large circle of friends he had formed, deeply regret his death. Warsop certainly is the poorer through his demise. As we stated last week, he joined up in order of his group on the 2nd March 1916, and was attached to the Sherwood Foresters and was later transferred to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. At the time he received his injuries, he was temporarily attached to the Royal Engineers. After a course of training he was sent over to Ireland, from whence he was drafted out to France in the early part of this year. His only other brother is now in training with the forces at Conway. The Rector’s Tribute. Concluding his sermon at Evensong at the Parish Church, on Sunday, the Rector (the Rev. RJ King) said they now mourned the loss of one, who ten days ago laid down his life for his King and country. He, for whom they mourned, was a devoted Churchman; regular in his attendance at Holy Communion and the services of the church; a Sunday school teacher, and a respected citizen and an affectionate son and brother. He was a lover of the motto, ‘Friendship, Love and Truth,’ and was always of a bright and cheerful disposition. Could it not be said of him: ‘Life’s race well run, Life’s duty well done, Life’s battle well won, Now comes rest.’ Willie Featherston was only 30 years of age, but life was measured not by existence on earth but by the efforts made in the cause of justice and right. ‘Then live for God who made you, For God, who is all true, The future in the distance, And the good that you can do.’ The concluding hym was ‘There is a Blessed Home.; (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 3 August 1917: ‘Oddfellows’ Meeting at Mansfield … Vote of Sympathy. Before beginning the business at the meeting of the Mansfield District of the Manchester Unity, on Saturday, Mr T Lees referred to the absence of one of the delegates, Mr F Featherston, and said that no doubt they were all aware that he had lost a son in the war. He proposed that the secretary send a letter to him expressing the deep sympathy of the District in his trouble … Mr S Walter, in seconding the resolution, said Mr Featherston had been one of the pillars of the Mansfield District, and they thought his son, who had laid down his life for his country, would follow in his footsteps … The Grand Master (Bro. Billing) supported the resolution, saying that from what he had seen of the deceased he respected him very much. The resolution was carried in silence, all the delegates standing.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘Deaths’, 3 August 1917: Featherston. Died of wounds in France on July 20th, Private William Henry Featherston, 7/8th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, dearly loved younger son of Mr and Mrs F Featherston, Appleton Cottages, Warsop. Aged 30 years. Deeply regretted.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The family placed 'In memoriam' notices in the Mansfield Reporter on, or near, the anniversary of William's death until at least 1924. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his mother Jane Featherston was his sole legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    William Henry Featherston - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
  • Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 3 August 1917. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    William Henry Featherston - Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 3 August 1917. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)