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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Entry for L/Corporal William Preston
14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Year of Birth
Date of Death
William Albert Preston was born in October 1893 on Harnall Lane, Coventry. The son of Albert Preston, a plumber, and his wife, Jane Annie, Lance Corporal Preston initially lived in Corley before moving to Coleshill sometime before 1911. He worked as a wood and metal engraver before enlisting in the 14th battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, service number 131. He was killed in action with Lance Corporal Power on 23 July 1916. He is also commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Coleshill And The War. Death of Lance-Corporal Preston. It is with sincere regret that we have heard that Mr. Preston, Coventry Road, has now received official intimation assuming the death of his elder son, Lce.-corpl. William Preston, who has been reported missing since July 23rd, 1916. He voluntarily joined the Birmingham City Battalion at the outbreak of the war. No definite information respecting him has been known since one of the battles of the Somme, ten months ago. At the Coleshill Parochial Boys' School Lce.-corpl. Preston showed artistic skill quite above the average. Upon leaving school he was apprenticed to a metal engraver and designer, His original designs being greatly appreciated by the head of the firm. He had every prospect of a prosperous and distinguished career as designer in commercial art, while his unassuming and gentlemanly manner endeared him to all his associates. His brother Frank is now serving at the front. Coleshill Chronicle. Saturday, May 26th, 1917.
Coleshill Chronicle 15th April 1916 SOLDIER’S CHEERY LETTER ‘THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL’ “The following is an extract from a letter by Lance-Corporal W. A. Preston, 1st City Battalion 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, to his parents, residing at Coventry Road, Coleshill:- ‘I have a piece of shrapnel for you that nearly put me out of gear, just missed by inches. It is a very ugly looking piece. I have just received the cigarettes…I had not even a fag end until yours arrived. However we are all perfectly happy. We even have a tablecloth on our table, to say nothing of a hallstand. It is surprising how we adapt ourselves to the most trying circumstances. I have decorated our ‘hotel’ up with drawings of various descriptions which even caused the major to smile when he came round…You ought to see our house; it is absolutely ‘it’. We even have flowers on the window-sill. It is strange how the flowers manage to survive in the poor dilapidated garden. We never get down-hearted here. What do you think of the pleadings of some of the conscientious objectors? I wish we had them here. I enclose a small crucifix made out of a German shell (nose-cap). I met H. Drakeford, and he looks very well.” H A Drakeford is also recorded on the Coleshill Memorial.
Coleshill Chronicle 9th September 1916 Lance-Corporal W. Preston, Royal Warwicks, Birmingham City Battalion, is officially reported missing. His parents reside in Coventry Road, Coleshill, and they are anxiously awaiting further news.
Coleshill Chronicle 26th May 1917 IN MEMORIAM PRESTON – In loving memory of Lance-Corporal W. A. Preston, 14th Royal Warwicks, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A. Preston, Coventry Road, Coleshill, who fell in action July 23rd, 1916, aged 22 years.
Coleshill Chronicle 7th July 1917 The death is announced of Lance-Corporal W. A. Preston, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A. Preston, 17, Coventry Road, Coleshill, who joined a Birmingham City Battalion on its formation. Mr and Mrs Preston have another son serving in France.