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William was born in Croston in 1887 and was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Eastham (nee Wane). Robert and Elizabeth were married in St. Michael`s Church in Croston on the 18th July, 1876.

William was one of eight children born to Robert and Elizabeth but sadly six of the children died:-

  • Mary Ellen born in 1876 died 5 August, 1977 aged 10 months
  • Arthur born in 1879
  • Mary Ellen (2) born in 1880 died 23 June, 1880 aged 5 weeks
  • John  born in 1882 died 10 November, 1889 aged 7 years
  • Lewis born in 1884 died 16 January, 1889 aged 4.5 years
  • Hetty born in 1886 died 12 December, 1886 aged 7 months
  • John (2) born in 1891 died 5 October, 1891 aged 5 months

Then on 28th February, 1892 William`s mother Elizabeth passed away. Three years later William`s father Robert remarried to Mary Ann Staziker.

In 1901 William was living in Station Road, Croston with his father, stepmother and his elder brother Arthur. His father was working at a Brick works as a labourer in a brickfield.

By 1911 William`s brother Arthur had married to Jane Cross and moved out of the family home leaving just William with his father and stepmother at the same address in Station Road, Croston. Robert Eastham was still at the brickworks and William had gone to work as a weaver in the Orchard Mill in Croston.

Unfortunately William`s service papers do not appear to have survived so we cannot be certain when he actually enlisted. However, he went to France some time after January, 1916, possibly with a batch of reinforcements and on arrival was posted to the 1st Battalion.

It would appear that at some point William was one of four men wounded when he went out with a party of 20 men to raid the enemy trenches. The wounds were obviously serious because he was eventually sent back to England to the Military Hospital in Whalley. Unfortunately he did not recover and William died of his wounds on the 12 March, 1917.

William`s body was taken back to his family in Croston. He was buried in the family grave with his six brothers and sisters and his mother Elizabeth. William`s father Robert passed away in 1936 and he too was buried with his family.

Eastham2

Eastham3

Private William Eastham was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. It is not known whether any of his personal possessions were ever returned to his family in Croston.

The following article from the Preston Guardian describes the funeral service.

Eastham1

William is also remembered on the War Memorial in Croston.

Eastham4

Rank: Private
Service No: 23571
Date of Death: 12/03/1917
Age: 30
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Cemetery: CROSTON (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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