William Campbell Webster was born in 1891 in Edinburgh.
His family moved to Hamilton between 1891 and 1901, and by 1911, William was living in Blantyre at 18 Glasgow Road, at 19 years old. This wasWilliam Webster may have been a tee-totaller, because he was presented with a gift of a silver matchbox from the bible class of Burnbank Parish Church and was given a razor by the local Rechabite Tent. His father, a railway worker may have worked at the Greenfield Foundry.
Gordon Cook told me, “William Webster lived at Springwell. He was the first Blantyre man to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal in June 1915, in April 1917 he was wounded for the second time, and interestingly Paul, Mrs James Jackson who lived in your house, was an elocutionist, and she asked Sgt. Webster if he would handle the collection at a recital she was giving in the Dookit in 1916. William Webster went to France as a Lance-Sergeant Alex with the Larkhall Company, then was promoted to Sergeant of the Uddingston Company, then Company Sergeant Major, his dad’s name was George and both parents were still living in Blantyre in 1917.
In 1911, William was working as a colliery labourer, living with his elder sister and parents.
Enrolling into the army to fight in WW1, he started out as Private but his military records show he may have ended up as a sergeant, perhaps promoted quickly given the loss of men in battle?
Gordon Cook added, “He had his Military medal pinned on by the King at Ibrox Stadium when the King was up on a visit to appease the Red Clydesiders.”
Sadly, he was a casualty of war. William died on in WW1 on 6th November 1916, aged just 26. He is remembered with honour at Flers, France.
With thanks to Gordon Cook and Alex Rochead for the military documents within this post.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Ann Higgins Crossar What a shame he is not listed on any war memorial in South Lanarkshire. Glad you posted this – William Webster is not forgotten. x
Jane Clacy Feeling very nostalgic I was born at Auchentiber and also my brother Jim . My dad used to lay a wreath there every Remembrance Day