William Leonard de Prez

William Leonard de Prez

William Leonard de Prez was born on 22 January 1883 in Moore. His parents were Henry and Sarah. His mother died when he was only two and his father remarried to Hannah Forster. The 1901 census records that William was a wheelwright’s apprentice.

In 1906, William married Amy Shakeshaft and they had two children, William and Isobel. The family lived at Lawton’s cottages, Runcorn Road, Moore. William was an estate labourer in 1911, but on enlistment, five years later, he was a fireman at the Greenall Whitley brewery in Wilderspool.

He enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery on 24 August 1916 and became a gunner. His regimental number was 159738.

It is difficult to tell from his military records where he served, but it appears that he was either wounded or became ill, because there are letters concerning his invalidity dated 1925. No more details are given.

William returned home to Lawton’s cottages after the war, but the 1939 register tells us that he and his wife had moved to Blackpool where they were private hotel proprietors. Isobel was living with them.

William and Amy's hotel, 603 Promenade, Blackpool
William and Amy’s hotel, 603 Promenade, Blackpool

Both William and Amy died in Berkshire. William was buried in St Michael’s, Sandhurst on 12 October 1957, aged 74 and Amy died in 1973, aged 91. We cannot be sure why they were living in Berkshire, but maybe one or other of their children had moved there.