William Frederick Pescod

William Frederick Pescod ©

William Frederick Pescod ©

Date of birth: 4th June 1884
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 66175
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Battalion: Attached to the 1st Water Tank Company
Died: 25th January 1918 aged 33 years
Death location: France





This photograph is © Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group have received permission to reproduce this photograph and extracts from the narrative on the Old Tauntonians’ online War Memorial:http://www.ota-southampton.org.uk/memorial/index.html

Please do not reproduce the photograph or any wording from this page.  If you want permission to use this photograph or narrative please contact the College on email@richardtaunton.ac.uk.


Life before the War
William’s father, William John, was born in Petersfield, Hampshire in 1850.  He died in 1929 leaving a Probate in the name of his son Sidney:

“Pescod William John of 45 Suffolk Avenue Southampton died 27 March 1929. Probate Winchester 23 April 1929 to Sidney Herbert Pescod chemist’s Clerk. Effects £402 12 s 7d”

William’s mother was Georgina Mary, born 1854 in Plimaro, London.  She passed away in 1918, shortly after her son had died.

William Frederick was the eldest of five children, his siblings were:

Georgina Mary b.1886. A spinster who died in 1965 and left a Probate:

“Pescod Georgina Mary of 37 Kennedy Road Southampton died 29 June 1965 at General Hospital Southampton. Probate Winchester 2 August 1965 to Edith May Pescod spinster and Betty Joan Flanagan married woman. £2981”

Sidney Herbert b.1887.  On his death in 1962 he left a Probate naming his sister:

“Pescod Sidney Herbert of 45 Suffolk Avenue Southampton died 22 May 1962 at Knowle Hospital Wickham Hampshire. Probate Winchester 11 July 1962 to Edith May Pescod spinster. Effects £1964 11s 4d”

Edith May  b.1890 and d.1967 as a spinster.

Violet Maud b.1893.  Violet married George F Gauge in Southampton, 1918.

In the 1891 census the family lived at 13 Canton Street, Southampton. William John worked for the Ordnance Survey as a Draughtsman C.A.

They had moved to 44 Waterloo Road, Shirley, Southampton by 1901. William John was still employed by the Ordnance Survey. William Frederick was a Pupil Teacher in a School.

Staying in the district of Shirley, the family now lived at 45 Suffolk Avenue in 1911.  William John has retired from the Ordnance Survey and was receiving a pension, William Frederick was an Assistant Teacher, Sidney was employed in a Chemist’s working as a Shop Assistant and Edith was a Confectioner’s Shop Assistant.


Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, Sussex
Sergant Pescod was an Old Blue i.e. a former pupil of Christ’s Hospital, Horsham.  Below is his obituary notice from the school magazine.

THE BLUE. March 1918. (page 104)

Sergt. W. F. Pescod, R.A.M.C.
“The death has occurred, from wounds received on service, of Sergt. W. F. Pescod, R.A.M.C., who before he joined the Forces was a member of the teaching staff of the Freemantle Church of England Boys’ School. Born in 1884, he won a scholarship to Christ’s Hospital in 1897, and on leaving school in 1900, he went as a pupil-teacher to Freemantle, subsequently matriculating, and becoming a Normal Student at the Hartley University College. Later, he passed, the Inter-B.Sc, London, but owing to illness, did not take the final examination. In 1905 he returned to Freemantle Boys’ School, where, with Mr. W. C. Stickland, he had charge of the upper standards. His influence was of very great value, and to him with others the credit is due that the tone and behaviour of the boys is a strong feature in this school. After volunteering for service, he was engaged in the water supply department of the R.A.M.C., in which he was a sergeant, having refused a commission in an infantry regiment. He had been in France two years.”

One of the old boys of his school now with the Y.M.C. A., writes that last week he had a pleasant time with Sergt. Pescod at the week-end, adding, “Within a few hours I saw him again under distressing circumstances, for he lived but a few hours after receiving his wounds. Yesterday I attended his funeral, which was a full military one, with his old comrades, yet I felt I represented a closer circle—one to which we were both attached, and one which would experience a greater sense of loss.”


War Service

Service records
William enlisted into the R.A.M.C., regimental number 66175, as a Private. He gave his residence as 45 Suffolk Avenue and occupation as School Teacher.  He also confirmed that prior to this enlistment he had served with the 5th Hampshire Volunteers.

He rose through the ranks quickly, being appointed as Acting Lance Corporal on 27th September 1915, then to Sergeant on 31st March 1916.

William was shot whilst in action and subsequently died from his wound.s

As his next of kin, Sidney was forwarded his brother’s personal articles which included letters, photos, pocket book, wrist watch and strap, cigarette case, key, farthing photos, French dictionary, 4 books, safety razor in case, 1 book, 1 shaving soap.

Personal Effects (money) – again, as his next of kin, his brother Sidney received payments which were owed his brother from wages in addition to a War Gratuity.  On the 19th July 1918 a payment of £11 16s 2d was made with a further payment of £14 on 26th November 1919.

For his service to his country William was entitled to the British War and Victory medals.


Taunton’s School Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s School: 1896 – 1897

Education and Employment: William was born on 4th June 1884 in Southampton. While at Taunton’s he gained a scholarship to Christ’s Hospital and from there went to Hartley University College where he trained as a teacher. He taught at Freemantle School, where he was once a pupil.

Life during the war: William was as much a part of Taunton’s life after he left the school as he was before; a regular participant in School summer camp, and a composer of the topical songs. He enlisted in Southampton on 10th August 1915 and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. William became a sergeant on 31st March 1916. He was attached to the 1st Water Tank Company and left Southampton for France on 11th April 1916. He died from his wounds at the 1st Casualty Clearing Station in France.

William died on 25th January 1918 aged 33 years.


William Frederick’s Probate

“Pescod William Frederick of 45 Suffolk Avenue Southampton sergeant R.A.M.C. died 25 January 1918 at 1st Casualty Clearing Station France. Administration (with Will) Winchester 17 June 1918 to Sidney Herbert Pescod chemist’s assistant. Effects £267 19s 1d”

Chocques Military Cemetery, France

Chocques Military Cemetery, France

William is Remembered with Honour at the Chocques Military Cemetery. The Memorial Register reads:

 “Pescod, Serjt. William Frederick, 66175. 1st Water Tank Coy., Royal Army Medical Corps. 25th Jan., 1918. Age 33. Son of William John Pescod, of 45, Suffolk Avenue, Southampton. Grave/Plot Reference I. O. II”

 His father, William John, had the following words inscribed on his son’s headstone, around a central Cross which is part of the headstone’s basic design:

“Blest are the Departed     Who in Jesus are Sleeping”



The Village of Chocques
From January 1915 to April 1918, No.1 Casualty Clearing Station was posted there.  Most of the burials from this period are of casualties who died at the clearing station from wounds received at the Bethune front.


Brother Sidney’s War Service
Enlisted into 631 Labour Coy as a Private, regimental number 143721, at Plymouth on 4th May 1917.  After attending the Medical Board on the 11th December 1917 he was discharged as no “no longer physically fit for war service” having served 223 days in the UK.  He gave his father as next of kin at 45 Suffolk Road.


Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 14th August 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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