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William Joseph Forrester joined the Army on 25th July 1903 when he was 15 years 6 months old. William enlisted on a long service engagement for 12 years with the Colours. The medical officer recorded William as being 4ft 11in,weighing 78lbs with a 26-29in chest and his mother and step-father, Annie Little and John Stanley Little of Fulwood Barracks gave their consent for him to serve.

William was posted into the 1st Battalion as a boy and when he came of age in 1906 he was placed on ‘man’s service’. In June 1908 he was appointed Lance Corporal and was promoted to Corporal in 1911.

William married Jane Gardner at St. Saviours Church in Preston on 12th November 1910; and 9 months and a day later she gave birth to their only child.

In 1913, having served for 10 years in the 1st Battalion, he was transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion. He was promoted to Serjeant three weeks after the War broke out in August 1914.

On 4th January 1915 William was transferred back into the 1st Battalion and sailed to France to join them in the field. He died accidentally on 2nd March 1915 from exposure to poisonous fumes. His wife was informed at their address 15 Brewery Street, Preston. The following articles appeared in local newspapers shortly afterwards;

boader and forester



Jane received a widows pension of 16- per week for herself and their one child. By 1921 when she received her late husband’s medals she had remarried (Curtis).

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 7024
Date of Death: 02/03/1915
Age: 27
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.


Photo courtesy of Derek Topping

Additional Information

The other man who died was CSM Boarder. His death was also published in a local newspaper.image


Paul McCormick
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One Response to 7024 SJT. W. J. FORRESTER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Laura Ainscough says:

    Thanks Paul WJ Forrester was my great grandad. We knew most of the info you have found but I was unaware of the names of the other soldiers he was with at the time of his death. I did try to find a copy of his birth certificate but was told (by family) he was born in India, seems not. Thank you once again.

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