A Sherburn Man


William is remembered on the memorials in St Oswald’s (above) and Murray Street, though he was not a Filonian. His father Richard, a wheelwright and joiner, was from Langtoft; he married Esther VASEY in Allerston in 1873. After the arrival of two sons in Heslerton, the couple moved to Sherburn and were enumerated at an address in St Helen Street from 1881 to 1911.

William worked as a joiner and in 1901, age 20, he was a Visitor at Thomas Breckon’s butcher shop, 9 Union Street, Filey, with a motley crew of boarders that included a builder and bricklayer in addition to an apprentice butcher. Ten years later he was living in the town with his wife and their first child, Richard –  but he’d traveled a distance to find Daisy Ella, a Shropshire lass he married in Wolverhampton.

He was 33 years old when the First War began and, married with two children, I can’t imagine he rushed to volunteer. It seems more likely he would have been conscripted in, or after, 1916.

I haven’t been able to determine his whereabouts when he was killed. He joined one of the 24 Tank battalions that fought on the Western Front and in October 1918 he was with the 5th, probably taking part in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line. He may have died in the Battle of Courtrai (14-19 October) or on the first day of the Battle of the Selle (17-26 October).  He is buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery and remembered on Daisy Ella’s granite headstone in St Oswald’s churchyard.


In loving memory of DAISY ELLA HARLAND, died October 3rd 1953 and of her husband WILLIAM HARLAND, killed in action October 17th 1918.

William is on the FamilySearch Tree.

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