Private William Batsford, 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment died on 12th August 1917. Born in Knowle in 1883, he was living in Northfield, Birmingham when he enlisted in the Army. He was the third of the eight children (four sons, four daughters) of parents William (a carpenter and joiner) and Emma (née Turner) who had married in 1879. Two of the children, Emily (1889-1890) and John Henry (1890-1892), died as infants.
Parents, William and Emma, died in 1897 and 1892 respectively, meaning that in 1901 their surviving six children were dispersed and either living-in at work or living with relatives. 19-year-old Albert (1881-1943) was married and living in Blue Lake, Dorridge with his wife and baby daughter, as well as his 21-year-old brother, George Edward (1880-1957). Mary Jane (born 1885) was a servant in Handsworth, The youngest children, 15-year-old Kate and 11-year-old Gertrude were both living in Whatcote with relatives – Kate with her aunt and uncle and Gertrude with her grandparents. 17-year-old William was a butcher’s assistant, living in Harborne with his employer, Arthur Hunt.
By 1911, William was still a butcher but had moved to a different employer, Thomas Cooper, Bristol Road, Northfield. In 1915, he married Ann B. Smith in the King’s Norton district. It seems he was still living in the area when he joined the Army as Soldiers Died in the Great War gives his residence as Northfield.
William was killed in action on 12th August and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and in the Soldiers’ Chapel at Knowle.
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