Midwinter, William Edward (Billy)
No. T4/128738, 1st Company, 32nd Divisional Train, Royal Army Service Corps
Killed in action on Saturday 10 August 1918 (aged 25)
Fouquescourt British Cemetery, France (Grave I. J. 1 Collective Grave)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s)
Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity)
Helen’s Bay Parish Church of Ireland Church (St John Baptist)
William Edward Midwinter was born on 27 November 1892 in Kinnegar, Holywood and he was a son of Edwin and Beatrice Anne Midwinter (nee Fry) whose marriage was registered in the first quarter of 1883 in Highworth, Wiltshire.
After moving from England in the 1880s the Midwinter family lived in Holywood, in Crawfordsburn and later in Helen’s Bay. Edwin Midwinter had served in the Army with the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders in Afghanistan and in civilian life he worked as a plate layer on the railway and then as a caretaker.
Edwin and Beatrice Midwinter had at least ten children:
Jessie (born around 1885/1886 in England; died of pyaemia on 25 April 1903 aged 17)
Beatrice A. (married Arthur Trahan on 24 August 1908 in Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity)
Ellen Louisa (born 19 April 1889 in Downshire Road, Holywood; married William McNeilly on 11 October 1915 in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s)
Dorothy Elizabeth (born 25 January 1891 in Kinnegar, Holywood; married Hugh Haveron on 24 June 1914 in Larne Parish Church of Ireland Church)
William Edward (born 27 November 1892 in Kinnegar, Holywood)
Gertrude Mary (born 1 October 1895 in Kinnegar, Holywood; died of bronchitis on 11 November 1896 in Carnalea)
Florence Martha (born 19 October 1896 in Carnalea; married Thomas Wallace)
Albert Charles (born 29 March 1899 in Ballykillaire)
Frederick John (born 9 April 1900 in Carnalea; died of marasmus on 23 February 1891)
Kathleen Meta (born 28 April 1903 in Crawfordsburn)
Florence, Albert and Frederick Midwinter were baptised in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s).
William Edward Midwinter was 17 when his mother Beatrice died of tuberculosis on 3 February 1910 (aged 48). His father Edwin died on 26 July 1933 (aged 80) and was buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.
After leaving school, William Edward Midwinter worked as a servant for James and Jane Fletcher who operated a building, transport and funeral business in Bangor. William Midwinter and Margaret McKendry were married on 7 October 1915 in Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland Church and they lived in Helen’s Bay. Four days after William’s wedding his sister Ellen married William McNeilly.
Margaret Midwinter (nee McKendry) was from Ballycastle in County Antrim and on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that she predeceased her husband. In fact, Margaret Midwinter (nee McKendry) and James Francis Kane were married on 29 September 1919 in St James’s Church of Ireland Church, Ramoan.
William Edward Midwinter enlisted at Clandeboye, he served with the Royal Army Service Corps and he was 25 when he was killed in action at Beaucourt in France on 10 August 1918 during the Allied offensive against all sections of the German line.
Corporal William Edward Midwinter (T4/128738) was buried initially in Beaucourt-en-Santerre, and later his body was exhumed and reinterred in Fouquescourt British Cemetery, France. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS AND SHADOWS FLEE AWAY
Corporal William Edward Midwinter (T4/128738) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum; in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s); in Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity) and in Helen’s Bay Parish Church of Ireland Church (St John Baptist).