Private William Francis Jenner

© Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Janet Mata for the following research.

William Francis Jenner was born around 1888 in Godstone, Surrey to William and Louisa Jenner.

The family were living at Chapel Farm, New Chapel, Surrey in 1891, where William Jenner senior worked as a miller. By 1901 the family had moved back to the Godstone area and William Jenner senior was employed at the Hedgecourt Mill. In 1911, William was no longer living with his parents at the mill – they had been joined by a nephew, Richard Jenner. William may by then have been working as a gardener in Dunsfold.

William’s attestation form shows that he signed up as a private in the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, 11th Battalion on 28th August 1915. Prior to signing up he had been living in Guildford and working as a groom.

Further military records show that he embarked at Folkestone on 22nd December 1915 and joined his battalion on 9th January 1916.

William died in France on 22nd May 1916, just nine months after he enlisted. His military record shows that he suffered a gun shot wound to the head on 21st May and died the next day.

The regimental diary sheds no light on the circumstances in which he died. In the days preceding his death, the regiment appears to have been involved in training exercises rather than actual combat and there no records of casualties.

William Jenner is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord and his headstone is inscribed with “He Careth for You” – words chosen by his father who, by then, was living in Dorking at Yewtree Cottage, Reigate Road. Items returned to his father included 2 pipes, a pouch and a purse, along with the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Born                            Godstone
Lived                           Reigate

Son of                          William and Louise Jenner of Yew Tree Cottage, Reigate Road, Dorking

School                         Dorking British School (Powell Corderoy School)

Enlisted                       Guildford

Regiment                     8th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number                       G/6469

Date of Death              22nd May 1916
Place of Death             France
Cause of Death           Died of Wounds

Age                              28

Cemetery                    Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France