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Coleshill Remembers Database.

Coleshill Remembers World War 1

As a free service to the World War 1 commemoration year, ST-IT Limited have created and are hosting a free database of Coleshill connected veterans.

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Coleshill, Warwickshire

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Entry for Gunner/Driver William Hastings




William Abraham




Royal Garrison Artillery (Attch 1/2 Lancashire Regt Heavy Battery)

Year of Birth


Date of Death



Service number: 61337. William Abraham Hastings was born in Coleshill and is recorded in the Coleshill Chronicle as having enlisted in August 1915. A gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery he was killed in action on 4 April 1918 and is buried in Daours cemetary. Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, of Coventry Road, Coleshill, have recieved intimation that their son, William was killed in France on April 4th. The deceased was 26 years of age, and joined the R.G.A. in 1915. Prior to this he worked on the Midland Railway. The following letter has been recieved by the parents - Extract from Coleshill Chronicle, Saturday, May 4, 1918 Dear Mrs. Hastings, - No doubt you will have heard officially the sad news of your son's death in action. I am writing to tell you how much the officers and men of the battery regret his loss, and to give you our sympathy. I have, I believe, served with him ever since he came to France, both in the 118th Heavy Batty, and in this battery. He was a most excellent driver, and a very good soldier, and we regrer his loss immensely. I was present when he was killed, and it will be some consolation to you to know that he died without feeling the least pain. A splinter from a shell struck him on the head as he was lying on a bank, and death was quite instantaneous. I am not sure that he was not asleep at the time. This was about 1 p.m. on April 4th, when his battery was being heavily shelled. He invariably behaved with great coolness under fire. He was buried at the military cemetery at Daours by the Brigade Chaplain in the presence of his many comrades.- Yours sincerly, H.E. POPE, CAPT. 1/2 Lancs, Heavy Batty., B.E.F. April 21st, 1918

He was Baptised at Coleshill 23 Apr 1892 to parents John & Louisa.

His Mother was Louisa Widdowson, born at Brownhills. The Coleshill Parish Marriage record has her Father entered as Edwin, however, all other records point to her being a Daughter of Abraham Widdowson & Mary Ann Sharrard who married at Coleshill 27 Jan 1862. William was related as a 2nd Cousin to George Hastings also recorded upon this monument.

Coleshill Chronicle 18th November 1916 WOUNDED IN THE WAR Mrs Hastings, of Packington Lane, Coleshill, has received a letter from an officer in the Worcester Regiment, to which her son Charles belongs. The following is an extract from the letter, which Mrs Hastings received to inform her that her son was wounded in Salonika:- “it is with great regret that I write to inform you that your son, Pte Charles Hastings, was wounded in action on October 12th. He was working on the flank of the company as a bomber when he received his wound, a fracture in the lower end of his left thigh. Although not a N.C.O. he was one of those who naturally influence all around him. I myself shall miss his cheery remarks and continual keenness when at work. All the platoon wish their comrade a speedy recovery. – A. E. GIBBS, Lieut., Wor. R.” Mrs Hastings has three sons in all the forces: Joe Hastings, who is also in hospital in England, wounded; and William Hastings, who is still ‘somewhere’ in France. The wounded soldier is not connected with the Hastings of last week’s letter, although he is wounded in a similar manner.
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