Private William James Racster, aged 29
William was born in Winslow on 15 August 1888, and later moved with his family to Roxpole, Stoke Lacy. He worked as a farm labourer. After enlisting at Wrexham he joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
On 25 February 1917, William was killed near Beaumont Hamel . He was 29 years old. William’s mother, Hannah, and sisters Ada and Effie Maud did not discover William was a casualty for many weeks; we know this thanks to a short item that appeared on the 12 April 1917 in the Bromyard News & Record:
‘Mrs Racster… received news one day last week that Private William Racster …. is missing.”
William Racster was a member of the Fusiliers’ 1st Battalion, which was involved in bitter fighting on the Somme between the 11 January and 14 February 1917.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, which commemorates 72,191 British and South African men who have no known grave.
Hannah Racster, Ada Corbett and Effie Collier are buried in Stoke Lacy churchyard.