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  • Buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery. The sandy nature of the soil means the headstones are laid flat on the graves. Photograph Murray Biddle.
Person Details
William was the son of William and Barbara Widdowson (née Cooke). His father William was born in Nottingham in August 1856 and his mother Barbara Cooke was born in Daybrook, Arnold, Nottingham, in December 1856, the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Cooke. They were married at Sneinton St Mathias in July 1876 and probably had nine children at least one of whom died in childhood. With the exception of Mabel, who was born in Nottingham, the children were born in Sneinton: Alice b. 1876, Emma b. 1878, Edward b. 1880, William b. 1883, Mary Elizabeth b. 1885, Sarah b. 1888 d. 1889, Thomas b. 1890 bap. Sneinton St Alban August 1890, Mabel b. 1892 and John Henry b. 1896 (J/A/S). In 1881 William (24) a mechanic, Barbara (24) and their daughter Alice (4) were living with Barbara's parents at 79 Manvers Street, Sneinton. In 1890, when Thomas was baptised, the family was living at 25 South Street, Nottingham, but at Sneinton Terrace, Kingston Street, Sneinton, by the following year when the census was taken. William and Barbara were living with her widowed mother. They now had six children, another child, Sarah, had died in 1889: Alice, Emma (12), Edward (10), William (7), Mary (5) and Thomas (under 1 year). William, now an iron foundry labourer, and his wife were living at 46 Queen's Grove, Meadows, Nottingham, in 1901. Seven children were in the home on the night of the census: Emma a yarn winder, Edward an iron foundry fitter, William (18) a coal miner, Mary an errand girl, Thomas, Mabel (9) and John (5). Alice has not yet been traced after the 1891 census. By 1911 the family had moved to 13 Bosworth Terrace, Briar Street, Meadows. William was an out of work hawker. Only three of their sons were still at home: William a loader (coal mine), Thomas who was also an out of work hawker and John. Emma may have married Horace R. Hickling in 1904, Edward had married Florence Hudson at Nottingham St Andrew in 1902 and Mabel had married Robert Gladwin in 1910. Mary Elizabeth has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. William and Barbara later lived at 7 Spring Close, Old Lenton, and were still at the same address in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled. Barbara died in 1940. Two brothers also served in the war and John, who served in the Leicestershire Regiment, was also killed. Edward served in the Royal Engineers. (See 'Extra information.')
19 Apr 1918
85355 - CWGC Website
Old Lenton Nottingham. Enlisted Nottingham
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). The 2nd Bn served in France from September 1914. William Widdowson was killed on 19 April 1918 and is buried in the Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France (grave ref. II C 4). CWGC - History of Wimereux Communal Cemetery (extract): the town of Wimereux is about 5 km. from Boulogne. 'Wimereux was the headquarters of the Queen Mary's Army Auxilliary Corps during the First World War ... From October 1914 onwards, Boulogne and Wimereux formed an important hospital centre and until June 1918, the medical units at Wimereux used the communal cemetery for burials, the south-eastern half having been set aside for Commonwealth graves, although a few burial were also made among the civilian graves. By June 1918 [two months after William's death], this half of the cemetery was filled, and subsequent burials from the hospitals at Wimereux were made in the new military cemetery at Terlincthun. ' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC: 'Son of William and Barbara Widdowson, of Nottingham.' His younger brother John Henry Widdowson served with the 7th Bn Leicestershire Regiment (11982 Private) and was killed in action on 11 June 1916. (See record on this Roll of Honour). Their brother Edward served in the Royal Engineers (7139 Sapper). He attested in November 1914 (age 34, occupation fitter, address 8 Healey Street) but was discharged 'not likely to become an efficient soldier', probably on medical grounds, on 20 January 1915. WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: named his parents William and Barbara Widdowson Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his mother Barbara was his sole legatee.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery. The sandy nature of the soil means the headstones are laid flat on the graves. Photograph Murray Biddle.
    William Widdowson - Buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery. The sandy nature of the soil means the headstones are laid flat on the graves. Photograph Murray Biddle.