William Henry Bearsley

Lance-Corporal William Henry Bearsley, 6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Service number 4077.

Lance Corporal William Henry Bearsley.

William was born in Haworth in 1865, registered in Keighley in the second quarter of the year. Parents Joseph and Mary Ann Bearsley.
In 1871 he was six and living at Hall in Haworth with his parents and two sisters. His father Joseph was a worsted power loom weaver.
In 1881 he was fifteen and living at Ebor in Haworth with his parents, five sisters and one brother. Joseph was still a worsted weaver and William was a piece hooker in a worsted mill.
On June 12, 1886 William married Alice Moore at St Michael and All Angels in Haworth. He was 21 and she was 22 years old. William was a woolsorter at that time. By 1891 they were living together at 27, Prince Street in Haworth. William was a wool sorter and Alice was a cotton winder.
By 1901 William was 35 and they had moved to 5, Albert Street in Haworth and they'd had a child, Mary. William was a wool sorter.
On April 3, 1908 William joined the 6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment as a local volunteer, service number 146. He had been with the 3rd Volunteer Battalion West Riding Regiment since January 29, 1894 and had steadily risen to the rank of Sergeant by January 1, 1909 and had completed twenty years service by January 1, 1910. He was awarded the Volunteer Long Service Medal.
In 1910 he was renting 2, River Street in Haworth from the Haworth Conservative Club.
By 1911 they were living at 2, Tyne Street with their daughter Mary. They'd had three children but two had died. William was a wool sorter for Messrs. Merrall & Sons.
On March 20, 1915 he attested in the Army with the 3rd/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment Service number 4077, and was soon appointed with a Lance Corporal's stripe. Sadly he died of cancer of the bladder on August 19, 1915 at the 2nd Northern General Hospital at Beckett's Park in Leeds. He was fifty years old and his death was registered in Keighley.
By now Alice had moved to 103 Hebden Bridge Road. Because William's death was not caused by the war, Alice was not entitled to a war widow's pension from the Army.
William had not served overseas in a war theatre so no medals were forthcoming.
William is remembered on the Haworth War memorial and is recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as he died whilst in service during the war, although it is a private headstone on his grave.
He is remembered on the Haworth War memorial in the Haworth Oddfellows roll of honour in the care of Wyedean Weaving in Haworth.

Source information:
Birth, marriage and death records.
1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census.
Army service records.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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