[Skip to content]

Person Details
Basford, Nottingham
William was born about 1887, the only son of William and Elizabeth Lakin. His father completed the 1911 census that he and his wife had been married for 37 years and had had eight children born alive of whom only six were living at the time of the 1911 census. Six children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911; Susannah (b. Selston), Elizabeth (b. Selston), Sarah (b. Selston), Margaret (b. Basford), William and Mary Hannah (b. Basford). Elizabeth does not appear on any of the census of the Lakin family after 1891 but an army document giving the names of William's surviving next of kin has the name of one of his sisters as 'Annie'; there is no 'Annie' on census but given the ages of Elizabeth at the time of the 1881 and 1891 census and the age of Annie on the army record, it is likely that Annie and Elizabeth are one and the same person. William senior was a coal miner/banksman all his working life. In 1881 he and Elizabeth were living at 8 Southwark (?) Place, Basford, with their three daughters, Susannah (6), Elizabeth (5) and Sarah (4). They were still living in Basford at 4 Freeman's Yard, ten years later in 1891. Four children were in the household at the time of the census; Susannah, Elizabeth, Margaret (6) and William (4). By 1901 William and Elizabeth had moved to Bulwell and were living at 2 Deptford Street. Only three children were at home, Margaret, William and Mary (12). William joined the army four years later in 1905 and in 1911 probably only the youngest daughter, Mary, was still at home with their parents who were now living at 49 Deptford Street. William senior probably died in 1915 at the age of 59. In July 1919 his widow, Elizabeth, completed a form for the army giving the names of her son's living relatives. At the time she was living at 52 Deptford Street, Bulwell. The names on the form are largely indecipherable, but include Mrs Susannah James (45) of 75 Repton Road, Bulwell, Mrs Annie Dudley (44) of 29 Deptford Street, Bulwell, another married sister who was living at 51 Deptford Street with her widowed mother, and two married sisters living at 40 Clarges Street, Bulwell, and at 39 Orchard Street, Hucknall. The Register of Soldiers' Effects records modest payments to William's mother and five sisters; Susannah, Sarah, Annie, Margaret and Mary.
In 1901 William was a pit pony driver and a coal miner when he joined the Army in 1905. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 18 November 1912 and was mobilized on 5 August 1914.
21 Oct 1914
1618066 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Worcestershire Regiment
He joined the Worcestershire Regiment at the age of 18 on a 12 year engagement (3 years with the Colours, 9 years in the Reserve), on 10 November 1905, joining at Templemore on 12 November 1905. He served at home until 12 November 1908 when he embarked for India. He probably served in India until 1912 as it appears that while in India he signed a document on 15 July 1912 agreeing to transfer to the Army Reserve 'at any time after his arrival in the UK'. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 18 November 1912 and was mobilized on 5 August 1914. He was posted on 6 August and was probably in France with the BEF by the end of the month. He was killed in action and has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 16 November 1914: 'Lakin. Killed in action October 21st 1914, Lance Corporal (sic) William Lakin, only son of William and Elizabeth Lakin, aged 28 years.' His personal property comprised a 'bundle of letters' and a copy of the Gospel according to St Luke, and these were returned to his mother at 49 Deptford Street, Bulwell, in May 1915. His mother signed for his 1914 Star in 1919 by which time she was living at 51 Deptford Street; she was still at the same address in 1921 when she received William's British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Remembered on