William Beattie was born on 9th August 1893 at Parsonby in Cumberland. He was the son of Jonah and Jane Beattie. (Jonah was born in 1867 in Broughton in Cumberland and Jane was born in 1865 at St Bees in Cumberland. Her maiden name was Todhunter).
The family would eventually have six children : in addition to William there was John who was a year older than William, George who was a year younger than William, Annie who was born in about 1898, Mary born in about 1900 and Jonah born in about 1903.
Jonah senior was recorded as working as a colliery shiftman on the 1901 Census. The family were living at 5, Buchanan Terrace, Ellenborough near Cockermouth. They moved to Cheshire in the next few years and lived at Lea-by-Backford near Chester. The father was now a farm bailiff and all the six children were still living at home by 1911. John and William were horsemen, George was employed as a railway store assistant and the three young ones were at school.
William served in the Great War in the 9th Division of the Veterinary Corps. It is not known what rank he had, but his service number was 11/01748 (according to the absent voters list on the electoral roll for Aston Grange in 1918). The 9th Division worked with the 1st Cavalry Division and subsequently the 2nd Cavalry Division. It was a mobile veterinary section which took medical care of horses, mules, pigeons, etc. William would have served overseas. There are no service records for him to show any more information. The family had moved at some time after 1911 to Townfield Farm in Aston Grange.
In September 1918, just prior to the end of the war, William married Mary Eleanor Elliott at Aikton near Wigton in Cumberland. Mary Eleanor was born there in 1890. Electoral rolls for 1924 and 1930 show the couple living near The Pole in Antrobus and then on Dingle Lane in Appleton- with- Hull. In early 1925 they would appear to have had a son called William E. Beattie, but this is not certain.
The 1939 Register recorded William’s parents living at Mayfield on Barrow Lane in Tarvin. Mary Eleanor was living with them as was William’s youngest sibling Jonah. Mary was described as married, as was Jonah, who was a general farm worker, but there were no spouses resident with them, nor any children.
William was living at that time (1939) at Claybury Mental Hospital at Ilford in Essex, where he was a farm bailiff. It is not known why he was so far away from his family in the first month of the Second World War.
Sadly, William’s brother Jonah, his father and mother passed away in 1944, 1946 and 1947 respectively and Mary died in 1953 aged 63 years of age.
William Beattie died in hospital in Essex on 21st March 1944 and was buried at All Saints, Chingwell Row on the 25th of that month. His last address was given as The Farm, Claybury, Woodford Bridge, Essex. He was 50 years of age.