Private William Henry Grinstead

Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research.

William was baptised at the parish church of Westcott on 23rd December 1894. He was born on 4th October 1894. His parents are Jonathan, a plumber who was born in Dorking and Annie (nee Jeater), who was born in Westcott. They are living in Brixton, south London.

In 1896 William’s sister Kathleen Annie was baptised in Westcott, the family are now living in Dorking.

Jonathan, William’s father died in May 1897 and is buried in Westcott churchyard.

In the 1901 census, Williams mother Annie is a Grocer Shopkeeper at 21 Vernon Road Sutton. William and Kathleen Annie are with her, also living at that address are Mary Ann Weston a Housekeeper and Emily Trulove a visitor. William attended New Town Infants School in Sutton from 8th April 1902 until 29th September 1902. The family then left the district.

We next find them in the 1911 census in Brighton the family are living at 48 Grand Parade. Head of Household is John Richards, a Tool Maker, Annie is John’s Sister-in-law. She is a Housekeeper and Manageress of a Servants Registry. William is a Clerk with a Law Firm. Kathleen Annie has no occupation.

William enlisted into the Royal Sussex Regiment in Brighton. He arrived in the Balkans on 7th October 1915. The Regiment spent 12 weeks in Gallipoli. Then moved to Egypt where they spent the next 15 months. The regiment then reformed into the 16th Sussex Yeomanry. They spent 2 months training then crossed the Suez Canal in March 1917 and participated in the Battles of Gaza. Then in early November they moved to Beersheba where in two days of extreme fighting in bare scrubland and desert they lost 6 Officers and 119 other Ranks who were either killed or wounded. Sadly William was one of them. He died on 8th November 1917. He is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery. His name also appears on the Brighton Memorial in Old Steine Gardens Brighton.

His personal effects were sent to his mother, who was living at 29 New Steine, in Brighton.

William’s mother Annie and his Sister later moved to the Isle of Wight, Annie died on 8th February 1944, leaving her estate to her daughter Kathleen Annie.

Born                           Westcott, Surrey

Son of                       J. and Annie Grinstead of 29, New Steine, Brighton, Sussex

Regiment                  16th Battalion. Sussex Yeomanry. Royal Sussex Regiment
Number                     TF/315530

Date of Death             8th November 1917
Place of Death            Egypt
Cause of Death          Died of wounds

Age                            23

Cemetery                   Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel