William was born in Morda, Oswestry Shropshire in 1893, the second son of William Gosnell, a farm waggoner and his wife Elizabeth, (nee Jones) of 4 Princes Yard, Whitchurch. William had five brothers, Frank, John, George, Walter, and Alfred, two sisters Sarah and Mary. The 1911 Census records William living at Stag Hall, Bradley Cheshire, working as a farm labourer,
In July 1914 he married Mary Ellen Chesters in Nantwich. They had two children, Mary, and John William. When he enlisted in 1915, he was living in Hospital Street, Nantwich and was an employee of the London & North Western Railway Company in Crewe, Cheshire.
William landed in France on the 17th December 1915.
Once in France the sappers would be assigned to a Construction Train, each Construction Train would have a Captain, as officer commanding. These trains enabled the sappers to carry all their tools and equipment to and from the site of work. There was great use of Chinese Labour and Royal Engineer Labour Companies to prepare the ground, ready for the plate laying sappers.
William’s brother, George was discharged from the Army in 1915, when it was discovered he was underage, he rejoined again in 1917, joining the Tank Regiment. In 1921 he married William’s widow, Mary Ellen, in Nantwich.
William is also remembered.
Roll of Honour in St Alkmund’s Church, High Street, Whitchurch
Researched by Terry Evanson