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325046 PTE. W. C. N. PRESTON. W.YORKS.R.


William Clarkson Nun Preston was born in Leyland in 1888 and baptised at Leyland St Ambrose on 26 August.  His father was William Preston (b. 1854 in Preston), a warehouseman.  His mother was Margaret Blackburn (b. 1856 in Clayton Le Woods).  William and Margaret were married in 1880 and they had seven children: Elizabeth (b. 1881), John (b. 1884), Lena (b. 1886) then William, then twins Thomas and Robert, (b. 1890, but Robert died 2 years later) and finally Maggie (b. 1894).  Margaret died in 1896 and William re-married in 1898, to Elizabeth Margaret Atkinson (b. 1864 in Leyland) and they had a daughter Mary (b. 1901).  In 1911, the family was living at Fleetwood Street, Leyland, and William jnr was working at the Wood Milne Rubber Works, as a tyre cutter.  In 1915, however, he married Clara Bennison (b. 1890 in Bamber Bridge) and the couple moved to Bamber Bridge and there they had two sons, William (b. 1915) and Thomas (b. 1917).  They lived at 7 Mounsey Road.


William enlisted in 1916, after conscription had been introduced, and he was posted to the West Yorkshire Regiment, with service number 325046.  He was posted first to 1/8 Battalion and then to 2nd Battalion.  1/8th (Leeds Rifles) Battalion of the Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) came under orders of 146th Brigade in 49th (West Riding) Division.  In 1917, they were engaged in Operation Hush and at Poelcapelle during the Third Battle of Ypres.  There was a reorganisation of these units at the end of January 1918 and it may have been at this point that William was transferred to 2nd Battalion.  2Bn came under orders of 23rd Brigade in 8th Division.  8th Division was engaged in the German Spring Offensive, in the region of the Somme between Albert, Rosières and Villers-Bretonneux.  Albert was taken by the Germans on 27 March, and William was reported missing in action the following day.  His death was confirmed on 3 April 1918.  He was 29 years old and left a wife and two young children.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  325046

Date of Death:  03/04/1918

Age:  29

Regiment/Service:  Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), 2nd Bn. 
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 26 and 27.


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