[Skip to content]



  • photo originally published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 now in Worksop library.
Person Details
Worksop, Notts
William Alfred Eccleston was part of a large family of 10 children all born in Worksop to George and Louisa Eccleston, all born in Worksop. William was born in 1881, when at that time the family of 3 children were living at Sparken Hill, Worksop. All his working life his father was a joiner and carpenter by trade. Certainly by the time William was 20, he was working as a bricklayer in the building trade and when he was 25 he married in Worksop. His bride was Annie Wilkinson and the marriage location was in Worksop in 1905. The couple resided at 1 Coop Brook Terrace, Worksop. Two years into the marriage, they had a child who they named John Wilkinson Eccleston.
02 Dec 1915
35
143621 - CWGC Website
63293
Sapper
62nd Field Coy Royal Engineers
Sapper William Alfred Eccleston Worksop Guardian 24 December 1915 It is with regret that we have to chronicle the death from wounds sustained in action of Sapper William Alfred Eccleston 6,323 R.E., son of Mr and Mrs G E Eccleston, Co-operative Terrace, Worksop, and husband of Mrs Eccleston of 27 Priorswell Road, Worksop. The deceased who was well known and highly respected, enjoyed much popularity among a wide circle of friends, who will hear of his death with great sorrow. His father Mr G E Eccleston, has for over 35 years taken a keen interest in the Co-operative movement, having occupied a seat on the committee of the Worksop Society for that period, being a member of the original body. Deceased was well known as a member of the Worksop Fire Brigade which he has been prominently connected for twelve years. Thirty five years of age, he enlisted on December 31st and proceeded to France in July being attached to the 62 Field Company of the Royal Engineers. Before enlisting he was employed by the Urban District Council, but prior to that he worked for over 16 years for Messrs. Ilett Bros. builders, Gateford Road. He had gained no little reputation as a splendid brick layer. Whilst in France he took part in many engagements including the capture of Loos, but the price of victory is great. He was wounded on November 30th, the intimation of this being received in the following letter from his pal, Sapper G W Bradford, 89957 62nd, Field Co, R.E.:- “ It is with the greatest sorrow that I have to write to tell you that your husband has been wounded, and if not in England now he is on his way. It has cast a gloom in our little ’bivvy’. There are four of us, Will was the soul of life, so straight forward and as brave as any man who has been in France. He was splendid. We all promised to do this for one another should we go under. So, Mrs Eccleston and your little lad, cheer up as well as you possibly can. Now I am going to ask you to write and let me know as often as you can, how well he is going on…” The Rev. J Henry Martin, Wesleyan chaplain, 4th Field ambulance wrote “You will be sorry to know your brave husband was injured this morning (Nov 30th). He was bought into our advance dressing station here just now and is badly hurt. We have set his leg and given him the best of attention. While I write to you he is being transferred to the hospital, where he will, as soon a possible, be sent to England. He was very brave while we dressed him and I just hear he is away all right to the hospital, where everything will be put quite right. I know you will not over worry. It will not help him or you, will it? You will hear from all the Chaplains on the road to the base on his arrival in England. We all pray that you have the grace to bear up in this trouble and that you might know God’s power to help and comfort. I have told you everything, for I believe it will be the best thing for you so that you might know ‘the worst’. With every good wish. etc. “ The letter from the Chaplain was received on December 5th and until December 15th Mrs Eccleston was kept in suspense. Then official news arrived on that day – not that poor “Bill” was wounded in England and on his way to hospital – but that he had died of his wounds on December 2nd. The shock of such a letter may well be imagined. On December 15th Mrs Ecclston received the following letter from sister M Wharton:- “I am very sorry indeed that the letters I wrote on the 2nd and 3rd have miscarried. I sent all particulars about your husband’s death. He never rallied since his admission and passed quietly away a few hours after his admission. He is laid to rest in our soldiers cemetery and a cross bearing his name, regiment and number will mark his grave. He had a military funeral and our Chaplain saw him before he passed away. Any personal effects that might be in his possession will be forwarded officially from Headquarters but it will take some weeks to come. . With deepest sympathy and with many regrets that you have been kept in this awful suspense, etc. “ To Mrs Eccleston and her little son much sympathy will be extended, but her only consolation in this bitter trial must be that her husband died fighting for the good old flag, and a grander death it would be impossible to imagine. A vote of condolence with the widow and family was passed by the Urban Council on Monday night. Sapper William Alfred Eccleston Worksop Guardian 31 December 1915 The United Methodist Church in Potter Street, Worksop, was crowded on Sunday evening, the occasion of a service in memory of the late Sapper W A Eccleston 6323 R.E., of 27 Priorswell Road, son of Mr and Mrs G E Eccleston of Co-operative Terrace, Worksop, whose death in France from wounds received in action we reported in our last issue. The deceased soldier, who was very popular, was a prominent member of the Fire Brigade, and as a last tribute in respect to their late comrade, the Brigade, under Captain G Rawson attended. An address is carried out by Rev. R J Turner in the original report, discussing aspects of the war etc.
CWG additional information:- Son of George and Louisa Eccleston; husband of Annie Eccleston, of 27, Prior Well Rd., Worksop, Notts. - buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. William’s younger brother, Percy, died in in the last year of the war on the 10th Feb 1918 in France. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on

Photos

  • photo originally published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 now in Worksop library.
    William Alfred Eccleston - photo originally published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 now in Worksop library.
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery , Belgium . Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    William Alfred Eccleston - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery , Belgium . Courtesy of Murray Biddle