Driver William Henry Holford, was born on 4th March 1878, the son of John and Fanny Holford (formerly Jones) who at the time lived in Littleworth.
On 8th November 1905 William married Jeanette Proscovia Climson (known as Cissie) at West Ham in Essex.
Their first child Ada Louise was born shortly after but sadly died. They went on to have six more children – Eva Georgina; Ada Doris; William Henry; Bertram Charles; Nellie Elizabeth and Edna.
In August 1907 William enlisted with the Army Reserves but by 1911 he had been discharged.
The 1911 census lists the family living in Stafford Street, Heath Hayes, when William was listed as a ‘Hewer’ in a coal mine.
(A Hewer was a coal worker who cut the coal with a hand held pick, this was before the introduction of mechanical coal cutters. It was a physically demanding job and the conditions could be extremely unpleasant, especially if the hewer was working on his knees in a low underground seam).
In September 1915, William once more stepped forward for active service and enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery.
It is unknown what happened to William during his time in France but in October 1916 he was recorded as being ‘no longer being fit for war service’ and he was discharged and sent home to convalesce.
William died on 14th October 1920 and is commemorated on the Heath Hayes War Memorial.