Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.

Private William Fearnhall (1892 - 1916)

William Fearnhall (more usually spelled 'Fearnall') was born in Bridgnorth on July 7th, 1892 and was baptised at St Mary Magdalene on July 22nd. He was the son of William Fearnall, a nursery gardener, and his wife, Christiana. At the time of William's baptism the family lived at 52 Bernard's Hill but they seem to have moved regularly - addresses in Hermitage Hill, Severn Street and Underhill Street are also recorded.

On leaving school, William went to work at the carpet factory, working as a creeler in the wool shop. He may have left to become a regular soldier, or - like many of the men who worked at the factory - he may have been a member of the Territorials. Either way, when war broke out, William was one of the first to go to France. He arrived on the 6th of December, 1914 - as part of the 1st Battalion (regular army) King's Shropshire Light Infantry.

William would have seen heavy fighting in the Ypres salient in 1915 and 1916 before moving to the Somme. He was killed in action on 18th September, 1916 on which date his battalion was engaged in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (a phase of the Somme, 1916). A casualty list printed in the Bridgnorth Journal on 9th December shows that he was initially reported as missing but later posted as dead.

Private Fearnall, 6222 KSLI, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star.

William is remembered on the War Memorial in St Mary Magdalene Church. His name does not appear on the civic memorial in Castle Gardens.

This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.