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Born: c1874
Died: 14 July 1916, Somme
Address: 17 Cowling Road, Windhill
Spouse: Mary
Occupation: Cotton dyer
Rank: Cpl
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill; Thiepval Monument
Children: John, Ellen, Annie, Mary
Regiment: 12 West Yorkshire
William Henry Preston
The following report appeared in the Shipley Times & Express on 11 August 1916: “Cpl William Henry Preston, 18 West Yorks Regt (Bradford 2nd Pals) and of Cowling Road, Windhill, is reported to have been killed on July 14th.” Two weeks later, the paper carried a letter an officer had sent to Cpl Preston’s wife: “I am afraid you will have heard by now of your husband’s death. “He was killed while we were taking some German trenches. I am only sorry that he was not with us long
enough to share in the success of the battalion. “As you know he has not been out here long but we all admired him for the way in which he stuck to everything he undertook. He performed his duties far better than many younger men do. “Though one could see that he sometimes suffered, he never uttered a word of complaint. You may have every
reason to be proud of him and of the sacrifice he has made for his King and Country. “We deeply sympathise with you in your great loss.” The newspaper added: “Cpl Preston was nearly forty-two years of age. He was for some years a member of the Bradford Rifles and after the outbreak of war he joined the Shipley Volunteers
“He was formerly a member of the Shipley Trades and Labour Council.” From the 1911 census we learn this was not the first tragedy faced by William’s wife Mary; at that time the couple had been married 16 years and had lost six of their ten children. She was now alone to bring up the remaining four, John James, aged 16, Ellen, aged 14, Annie, aged ten, and Mary just six years old
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