William Horsford 4 October 1917

The second youngest of the group of five Laxton School boys killed in early October was William Horsford from Benefield, who was three weeks short of his 22nd birthday when he died. He was the first of the five to be killed at Passchendaele.

He spent four years at Laxton School, leaving in July 1909, two terms after Wilfred Gann. At School he was the champion high jumper. His farming family, including two brothers and three sisters, were then living in Stoke Doyle.

William Horsford enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment in October 1915 just before his twentieth birthday and travelled to Grimsby for training. He was killed in action on 4th October 1917 in the battle of Broodseinde, part of a wider offensive towards the Passchendaele Ridge.

Unlike many of the young victims of the fighting, William Horsford was married. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Cemetery Memorial to the missing and is also commemorated in the Stoke Doyle church.

Colin Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow