Gunner William George Trent

Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research.

William was born in 1885 in Poole, Dorset and baptised in St. James Church on 6th May, 1885. His parents were Job and Louisa Mary.

In the 1891 census William is living with his Grandfather, George Clarke in Emmerson Road in Poole.  His parents are living nearby in Lilliput.  William has a younger sister Ada, she is a year old.

William’s family are living in Sandbanks Road, Poole in 1901. Williams is 16 years old and working as a gardener. The family then moved to Haselmere in Surrey and in the 1911 census they are living in Wakenhills Cottage. William and his father are both gardeners. Ada, his sister is working as a ladies maid in Marylebone.

On 29th August 1911 William married Ann Eliza Shugar in the parish church of Melbury-Osmond in Dorset. After their marriage they moved to Brockham, and William became Head Gardener at Brockham Park.  They had one son, William, born in March 1915.

William joined the Royal Garrison Artillery on 22nd May 1917, and after training landed in France on 1st December of that year.  He was killed in action on 9th April 1918.

His death was reported in the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser of 11th May 1918. It mentions that Ann received the following letter from the Major of his battery:-

“It is with deepest sympathy I have to inform you that your husband was killed in action on 9th April.  The enemy opened a sudden Bombardment and the shelter your husband was in was hit by a heavy shell in the first few minutes and he was killed by a splinter.  On behalf of myself and the whole battery I beg to offer my deepest sympathy in your sad loss, I regret we were not able to collect his belongings before the ground fell into enemy hands.  Please accept my deepest sympathy with you in your great loss.”

William is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial which stands in the Berks Cemetery Extension 12 Kilometres south of the town of Leper. The sounding of the Last Post takes place at this cemetery on the first Friday of every month at 7pm.

William was a member of the Manchester Unity of the independent order of Odd Fellows, Duke of Edinburgh Lodge. His name appears on a memorial in the Doorway of the Odd fellows Hall in Dorking.  Ann, his wife returned to Dorset after his death. She died in 1954 aged 73. William is also remembered on the memorial in the churchyard in Melbury-Osmond in Dorset.

Born Poole, Dorset
Lived Brockham, Surrey
Son of Job and Louisa Mary Trent
Husband of Ann Eliza Shugar
Father of William Trent
Regiment 32nd Siege Battalion. Royal Garrison Artillery
Number 163749
Date of Death 9th April 1918
Place of Death Near Ypres, Belgium
Cause of Death Killed in action
Age 33
Memorial Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium