William Richard Bastable was born in 1888 in Shaftesbury, Dorset, and baptised at St. James Church, Shaftesbury, on 19th September, 1890. He was the son of George William Edward Bastable, an agricultural labourer, and Fanny Ann Bastable (neé Davis). William's four siblings included Henry John (known as Harry), born in 1884, who also died in the war serving with the Canadian Forces. William's father died in 1898 and was buried on at St. James' Church on 9th June 1898. His widow Fanny worked as a laundress and later a charwoman to support the remaining two children living at home at 84 St. James Street, Shaftesbury.In 1905 William enlisted in the 3rd Dorsetshire Regiment (Service No. 4993) and at the time of the 1911 Census was serving as a Private stationed at Wanowrie Line, Poona, India. Between July and September 1914. William returned to England and married Alice Eliza Conway from Melbury Abbas, Shaftesbury, Dorset. It is not known if he had left the army and re-enlisted at the beginning of the war, but his Service Number changed to 7643 which suggests there was a break in his military career. During the war he served as a Private with the 1st Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment in France and Flanders and was awarded the Victory, British War Medals as well as the 1914/15 Star. He was killed in action in Flanders on 3rd May 1915, five days before his brother Harry. His wife had given birth to a daughter, Winifred Violet Alberta, on 29th April 1915. Going by the dates it is doubtful if William knew he had become a father. He was buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord, Nord pas de Calais, France (grave id. I.F.23) near the Belgian border along with 599 of his comrades. Alice, who had re-married in 1919, to Alfred Young in Shaftesbury, had received an initial pension of 17s. 6d. (87p.) per week. (Search Alfred Young story for more details). She went on to have four more children. William is remembered on the Park Walk and St. James' war memorials. His name also appears on the Roll of Honour in St. James' Church and on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury.
Other names: William Richard
Locations in this story: Shaftesbury, DorsetFrance & FlandersBailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord pas de Calais, FranceWanowrie Line, Poona, IndiaSt. James' Church, ShaftesburySt. Peter's Church, ShaftesburyHoly Trinity Church, ShaftesburyMelbury Abbas, Shaftesbury