Private William Paston, 2nd Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action on 14th April 1917, aged 38. He was born in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in 1880 and was the second of eight children (three sons, five daughters) born to parents, George (an agricultural labourer) and Ann (née Treadgold) who had married in 1876. All three boys were killed in the war.
By 1881 the family had moved to Berkswell, being recorded on the census as living at Cold Comfort Farm. They remained in Berkswell until about 1890 but had moved to Burton Hastings by the time of the 1891 census. William is known to have attended Temple Balsall School.
By 1901, the family was living in Bulkington and, at the time of his marriage to Emma Bennett in 1907, William was living in Ryton, Bulkington and working as a miner. William and Emma had four children – Lucy Rebecca (1907-1984); William George (1908-1915); Walter Thomas (1911-1957) and Joseph Henry (1913-1984).
It seems that William volunteered for Army service soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, as he first entered a Theatre of War on 27th December 1914. One of his brothers, George Edward, had died of wounds on 21st September 1914. The remaining brother, Charles, was killed four months after William, on 9th August 1917.
William has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. Having moved away from Temple Balsall and Berkswell as a child, he is not included on local war memorials.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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