William Thomas Berresford was born in Sawley in 1896, the youngest of 8 children living at 23 Harrington Street.  His family were all involved in the lace trade, though in 1911 (age 14) Willie was working as a butcher’s errand boy.  He later became a butcher himself and played the cornet in Sawley Brotherhood Band.  In Dec 1915 he signed up with 2/7th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.  He was only in France from 27th Feb to 23rd Mar 1917 before being invalided home with TB.  On 2nd May he was discharged as being no longer medically fit for war service.  As he seemed to have contracted the disease a year before whilst training with the Army, he was awarded a pension, but he died on 5th Nov 1917.  He was buried at Sawley, his grave marked by a Commonwealth War Graves headstone[1].

His parents were Christopher Berresford (born Sawley) and Eliza Leeds (from Castle Donington).

[1] Not to be confused with William Berresford from Long Eaton.  Born 1894, he joined the Territorial Army in 1913 and served with 2/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion Sherwood Foresters.  He lived on Sawley Road, Long Eaton and worked as a glutter (a smith who fills gaps between V-sections of metal wheels, after the wheel boss has been cast on a foundry) at S.J. Claye’s wagon works on Main Street.   He was killed in action on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.   William was probably a distant relation of William Thomas as the Berresford grandparents of the former’s (unmarried) mother were from Sawley.

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