William James Easden



Village memories: Treadaway Hill (picture from SWOP website)

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PRIVATE 265890 2ND/1ST BUCKS BATTALION OXFORD & BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY
DIED 22 AUGUST 1917 AGED 29YRS.
REMEMBERED WITH HONOUR TYNE COT CEMETERY,BELGIUM
GRAVE REF IV.F.3

William James Easden was born in High Wycombe C1887 son of Frederick & Harriet nee Strange. He was one of ten children. His siblings were Frederick, Alice, Frank, George, Ellen Nellie, Florence Annie, Charles, Arthur and Gilbert.
In 1891 he was living with his parents at 11,Townfield Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. His father was listed as a chair maker.
In 1901 William is also listed as a chair maker on the Census, still living at home.
In 1905 William enlisted with the regular Army aged 17yrs. He joined the Oxford &Bucks Light Infantry and was discharged after 4yrs service in 1909. His number was 2679.
He married Ellen Horseman in 1909. In 1911 they were living at 14, The Barracks, High Wycombe and had one daughter Florence Nellie aged 7mths. William was a wood working machinist. His parents reveal they had 10 children and 7 were still living at this time.
In 1914 on the 3rd April he enlisted once again to the Oxford 7 Bucks Light Infantry to fight in the War. He was living at 4, Railway Place, High Wycombe. His attestation papers reveal that he was 26yrs 6mths old, approx 5’5”tall and in good health.
On August 15th 1917 the 2nd/1st Bucks Battalion moved to Abeele and on to Goldfish Chateau near Ypres. On the evening of the 20th they advanced to the support line and had many casualties from shell fire. They spent the next day preparing for the attack on 22nd August.
The Bucks were on the right and were to attack with two Companies forming the first and second waves. The final objective was the position on the Kansas Cross, Winnipeg Road.
The advance was furious but they suffered huge casualties from the machine guns and rifle fire from enemy resistance. Pond Farm was captured and gave some shelter for the wounded for a while. However this was later regained by the enemy.
11 officers and 338 men were casualties. One of these was William Easden.
His widow Ellen later married his brother George in 1921. Apparently this was at William’s request before he went to War!
William also saw service as no 2679 with Oxford &Bucks Light Infantry. His name also appears on the High Wycombe Roll of Honour and the Wycombe Hospital Plaque.

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