THE granddaughter of a war hero, who was killed while fighting for his country in the First World War, is searching for answers to piece together her family history.
Margaret Webster, of Thorntree Green, Appleton Thorn, is struggling to fill in the missing pieces of her grandfather’s life, who died while serving in the 2nd/4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment on December 29, 1917, when he was aged 39.
The 73-year-old said: “This information was all recorded but apparently a lot of the stuff from the First World War was destroyed in the Blitz in the Second World War.
“We are not giving up and I’m trying to find out more information but it’s getting more difficult.”
Her grandfather, Sergeant Major David Clifton Williamson, lived on Cobden Street while he worked at Pearson and Knowles before he volunteered to serve his country at the beginning of the war, aged 36.
He was later killed in battle after he was hit by a shell while signalling to the artillery to support the infantry.
She said: “I believe he went to Kent before he was sent to the front but I don’t know where he went after that.”
But for Margaret, there is just one piece of information that she is desperated to discover about her grandfather, who is buried in Bleuet Farm Cemetery in Belgium.
Sgt Williamson was posthumously awarded the Croix De Guerre (Belgium) for his bravery on the battlefield and was later hailed as a man ‘who lived and died a hero’ in newspaper reports following his death.
“One of the write ups from the Guardian in 1918 said ‘He was loved by all under him. He was always the keenest soldier and lived and died a hero’.
“It was very strange when I read that. I felt like I knew him even though I never met him. He was clearly brave but I would like to know why he was awarded the Croix De Guerre,” she said.
If you can help Margaret to trace her grandfather’s history or have a story to share about the First World War e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.