Henshall, William

William Henshall, Private 21222, 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Killed in action 27th September 1915 near Loos, France



William Henshall was born in Macclesfield in 1877, the son of Mary Jane and Ralph Henshall, a silk weaver. In 1881, four year old William was living at 218 Bond Street with his parents and siblings Frank (11), Kate (10), Percy (8), George Herbert (5), Charles Frederick (2) and Mary Eveline (11 months).  By 1891, Ralph Henshall had died and the family had moved to 8 Newton Street.

On 16th April 1900, William married Amy Beresford of Swan Bank, Congleton at St Peter’s Church, Congleton. By this time, William was employed as an Ironmonger’s Manager and lived at New Mills, but by the next year William had found employment as an Ironmonger’s Manager in Liverpool and the couple were living at 1 Needham Road, West Derby, Liverpool with William’s brother George, who was working as a self-employed photographer.

Ten years later, in 1911, the couple had moved again, to 47 White Rock Street, West Derby Road, Liverpool and they had four children: Charles Beresford (9), Ida Madge (8), Frank (5) and Reg Norbury (4) – William Thomas Norbury was a witness to the couple’s wedding.
William was not at home on census night.

After William’s death, Amy lived at 21, Guernsey Rd., Stoneycroft, Liverpool.



William attested at Liverpool, joining the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, who came under the command of the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The 4th Grenadier Guards went to France on 14th July 1915, and William joined them on 15th August 1915.

On 26th September the Battalion marched to reserve trenches at Vermelles, and on the following day advanced to Loos, occupying the German second line trench on the Western outskirts of Loos, and remained in this position until they were relieved on 29th September. During this action, William went missing and he was later assumed to have been killed in action on or after 27th September 1915.



Private William Henshall has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 5 to 7 on the Loos Memorial at Pas-de-Calais, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Henshall, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Private William Henshall is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials.

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