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anyon2William Henry Anyon was born in Freckleton in 1894 the son of John and Ada Anyon (nee Rawsthorne). John and Ada had married in the Holy Trinity Church, Freckleton on 20 August, 1885.

William had two older siblings, a brother Charles who was born in 1885 and a sister Margaret (Maggie) who was born in 1891.

Sadly, William`s mother Ada died in 1897. By the time the 1901 Census was recorded it shows William and his sister Maggie `lodging` with Mrs Elizabeth Foster a widow living at 10 Marsden Street, Kirkham. William and Maggie’s brother Charles was employed as a farm servant to farmer George Butler in Bispham, Blackpool.

In 1911 William and his sister Maggie had moved to 90 Marsden Street, Kirkham and were living with an Uncle Charles Anyon, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Mary. William was employed as a spinner in a local cotton mill.

On the 26 May, 1915 at the age of 21 William enlisted at Kirkham and was given the service number 3959. He was posted to the 3/4th (Reserve) Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

At his medical inspection it was noted that he was 5`8” tall and had a good physical development. William gave his father John as next of kin and his father`s address as 17 Eaves Street, Blackpool.

Five months later on 12 October, 1915 William left England bound for France with a second batch of reinforcements. He was then sent to join the 1/4th Battalion. At some point after this William was badly wounded. His service papers confirm that unfortunately he died from those wounds on 17 November, 1915.

The following article was printed in the Preston Guardian.



William`s personal effects were returned to his sister Maggie who was still living in Marsden Street, Kirkham and these included:-

  • Letters and photos
  • 1 Prayer book
  • 1 Cigarette case
  • 1 Purse
  • 3 Metal rings, 1 ring keys attached
  • 1 Knife, 1 clasp knife
  • Handkerchief
  • 1 Diary
  • 1 New Testament
  • 1 Tobacco pouch
  • 1 Shoulder title and 3 buttons

William was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour at the Millencourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France. His name is also recorded on the Kirkham War Memorial.


The Kirkham War Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 3959
Date of Death: 17/11/1915
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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2 Responses to 3959 PTE. W. H. ANYON. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Diane Ashton says:

    I have just read the above information about William Anyon my great uncle. Thankyou so much Janet for your research which has filled in a number of blanks in my own research and has also given us a precious photograph which is amazing as many of our family photos have been lost or dispersed amongst family members who themselves are long gone. He looks so much like my dad when he was young. He is now 86.I know he will be very interested in what you have written. My aunt, who is 88, has William’s war medal proudly dispayed on her mantelpiece to this day. He has been particularly in our thoughts this year and although I have copies of his war record and a photo of his grave, your information has brought tears to my eyes and made me feel so very proud of my great uncle, who made such a noble sacrifice, God bless him. This has bolstered my resolve to visit his grave next year. Thankyou.

  2. Robert.Gornall says:

    My Mum Maggie Gornall Nee Anyon Thankyou Janet For all this information, William was My Uncle I am very proud of him God Bless him Thanks again

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