William Henry Egglestone (1893-1918)
Served with the 20th Battalion "Wearsiders" DLI and killed in Flanders
William Henry was born in 1893, the son of John and Elizabeth Egglestone of Sidehead. The family address in 1914 was Bede Foot, Daddry Shields, County Durham. His father, who died in 1897, was an engine keeper (possibly on the incline which connected the mineral railway from Slitt to Rookhope with Westgate, or the winding engine at Slitt Mine). William had an older brother, John Morley Egglestone, a stonemason who would serve with the Royal Engineers in France, and three sisters, Hannah, Sara and Mary Serena, known as Ina.
In 1911 William Henry was aged 17, an apprentice stonemason, and living at Sidefoot with his parents. He probably went to school at Westgate, since he is not recorded at St John’s Chapel.
He enlisted in the army on 5 November 1915 at Barnard Castle and was then transferred to Aldershot. He serve as a private with the 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) and was given the regimental number 819. The 20th Battalion was originally raised at Sunderland in 1914 and was known as the Wearsiders.
William embarked for Le Havre, France, in May 1916 and served until he was killed in action in Flanders on 20 May 1918.
He is buried in Gwalia Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, Grave No II.D.32
The only personal effect which was sent to his sister Hannah, was his identity disc.
Civil Parish: Stanhope
Birth date: 1893
Death date: 20-May-1918
Armed force/civilian: Army
Residence: Bede Foot, Daddry Shields
Family: Father: John Egglestone
Mother: Elizabeth Egglestone
Brothers: John Morley
Sisters: Sara, Hannah Egglestone
Private, Number 819, 20th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
Medal(s): British War Medal
Memorial(s): Saint John’s Chapel, village green, war memorial
Saint John’s Chapel, Town Hall, roll of honour
Westgate Primitive Methodist schoolroom, roll of honour
Westgate Men’s Institute, roll of honour
Westgate Primitive Methodist, plaque
Gwalia Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium, Grave No II.D.32
Contributed by John B | Mel Brown