William Beckett was born about 1897 in Bettisfield. He was recorded on the census of 1901 living with his family at Bradenheath Bettisfield. Head of the household was Philip Beckett 45 an Agricultural Labourer. His wife, Mary Ann Beckett was 42. Their listed children were Amy 10, Philip 7 and William 3.
There is an entry in Bettisfield School Log Book on 3rd February 1909 that says, ” Two scholars, Willie Beckett and Eric Evans are suffering from measles and are kept at home on Doctor’s orders.”
The family was still at Bradenheath on the 1911 census. Philip was 55 and still a Farm Labourer. His wife of 29 years, Mary Ann was 52. She had given birth to 7 children, 2 of whom had died. The only child listed at home for the census was William aged 13 and still at school.
UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914-19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details on the left of this page. It adds that William enlisted in Oswestry and it is this source that tells us he was ‘killed in action’. His medal index card also on Ancestry lists his medals. The army Register of deceased soldiers’ effects where any outstanding monies were calculated tells us that William’s father Philip received the due £7..0sh..10d.
There is an index card for William Beckett in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. It gives the address Bradenheath Whitchurch and it confirms the regimental details as at the top of this page. It adds that he served for 1year and four months. The card was signed by F Barry Jones (Vicar) on 13th October 1919. He completed all the Bettisfield cards.
(There are three Beckett index cards filed with the Bettisfield ‘Living’. Frederick, Philip and John all survived the war although John was wounded 3 times)
A Thomas Beckett was one of the victims of the great ice tragedy in Bettisfield in 1905. He was 11 years old. It seems likely that he was related to this Beckett family somehow. So far it has not proved possible to discover the relationship. Follow the link to read the story.