Private William Charles Stagg

Photograph courtesy of Royston Williamson

William appears on the Dorking South Street Memorial as William Hankinson, the name his mother took when she married in 1895.

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides and Patricia Brazier for the following research.

William Charles Stagg was born on 16th April 1891 in the City of London to servant and pauper Martha Elizabeth Stagg. His father is unknown.

William’s mother Martha  was born on 10th January 1866 in the City of London to charwoman Martha, born about 1832 in Suffolk and lighterman Henry. Martha was baptised on 7th July 1872 at St Andrews-by-the-Wardrobe church, London.

William had two brothers and a sister by unknown fathers: Alfred Dorman  born in the 2nd quarter of 1887 in the City of London, Emily Elizabeth born in the 4th quarter of 1888 in Hackney, London and Arthur David born in the 2nd quarter of 1893 in the City of London.

At the time of the 1891 Census, William’s mother Martha  lived with her son Alfred  and her mother, charwoman, Martha in the City of London.

London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records read that Martha and her children Elizabeth and Arthur were admitted on 30th March 1893 into the Homerton Workhouse, in London. Martha’s son William was admitted on 6th April 1893. At the time of their admission Martha, Elizabeth and Arthur lived at 2 Green Dragon Lane, London and William at 27 Thomas Street, Woolwich. Martha was single and was working as a servant. Martha, her sons Arthur and William were discharged on 25th May 1893. They were transferred into The Infirmary, Bow Road, London. Elizabeth was discharged on 27th April 1893 and sent to the Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children.

(Charlie Chaplin resided there during 1896-98

At the time of their admission to The Infirmary in 1893, Martha was working as a servant and the family resided at the Homerton Workhouse. Martha and William were discharged on 11th May 1894. She was sent into the Homerton Workhouse and William to a school. Arthur was discharged on 25th October 1894 and transferred into the Homerton Workhouse. They left here on 22nd August 1894 and went back to Infirmary on Bow Road. From 7th September 1894 to 21st March 1895, Martha was back in the Homerton Workhouse. William had been living at Hanwell School.

Martha married John Charles Hankinson on 23rd November 1895 at Christ Church, Southwark. At the time of their marriage the couple lived at 78 Ponsonby Buildings in Southwark. John, born in 1867, was working as a painter. Lillie born in the 2nd quarter of 1896 in Southwark, London. The couple had five more children.

  • John Joseph Hankinson born in the 4th quarter of 1897 in Southwark
  • Charles Henry Hankinson born in the 2nd quarter of 1900 in Southwark
  • Amelia Emily Hankinson born in the 4th quarter of 1902 in Dorking
  • Ethel Elizabeth Hankinson born in the 3rd quarter of 1904 in Dorking
  • Violet Rose Hankinson born in the 1st quarter of 1906 in Dorking

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at Block B, 4 & 5 Peabody Square, Blackfriars Road, Southwark. John was working as a stationer’s warehouseman and Martha was looking after their children: Lillie, John and Charles. The household further comprised of Martha’s children from before the marriage: William and Arthur.

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 2 Mint Gardens near Church Street, in Dorking. John was working as a painter and decorator and Martha was at home. Of their children: Lillie was working as a day girl, John and Charles were news boys and Amelia, Ethel and Violet were at school. The household further comprised of Martha’s son, dyers assistant Arthur. Martha stated that she had given birth to six children during her present marriage. The accommodation had five rooms.

On 6th May 1912 Charles Stagg arrived on SS Ultania from Southampton, England to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. At this time he was working as a baker.

William Charles Stagg enlisted on 16th September 1915 at Moosomin, Canada into the ´A´ Company, the 28th Battalion (Saskatchewan Regiment), of the Canadian Infantry. He was a Private with regimental number 104902.

At the time of his enlistment he was a farmer. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. He was a member of the Church of England. His next of kin was his mother Mrs Hankinson of (2 Mint Gardens) Church Street, Dorking.

William Charles Stagg was killed in an action on 30th July 1917 in France.

William Charles Stagg Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery Roll of Honour ©
William Charles Stagg Personal Headstone Inscripton Report ©

He is burried at the Fosse No 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle, France. His grave registration number is: II.A.27. William Charles’ mother Martha Elizabeth Hankinson of 2 Mint Gardens, near Church Street, Dorking had on his headstone engraved: “His Soul at Home With God“.


Mr. and Mrs. Hankinson of Church Street, Dorking, have heard the sad news of the death in action of their son, Pte. William Hankinson. He joined the Canadian contingent in Sept. , 1915, and had been in France 14 months. The Chaplain in sending his sympathy to the bereaved parents says “To you the loss is great, but it is no little consolation to know that as a true soldier he laid down his life for his country and for the cause of right. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” We laid him to rest in a quiet little cemetery quite a distance from the scene of the battle and a cross is being erected to mark his grave.” Mr. and Mrs. Hankinson have three other son in the Army, one whom is now in a convalescent camp. He has been twice wounded, once on the Somme and the second time in Belgium.

William Stagg Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser find my

Martha Elizabeth Hankinson died in 1926. She was buried on 15th July 1926 in Dorking Cemetery.

Born Southwark, London
Lived Saskatchewan, Canada
Son of Martha Elizabeth Hankinson (nee Stagg) of 2 Mint Gardens, Dorking
Regiment “A” Company. 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry.
Number 10490
Date of Death 30th July 1917
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in action
Age 26
Cemetery Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery Extension. Sain-En-Gohelle, France
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