Osborne, William John (No. 75393)

Osborne, William John (William)


No. 75393, 29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment)

Killed in action on Friday 8 October 1915 (aged 21)


Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave K. 38)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)

Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church

First World War Roll of Honour of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland


William John Osborne was born in Cultra on 21 June 1894 and he was a son of Thomas Edens Osborne and Margaret (Maggie) Osborne (nee Reid) who were married on 19 October 1881 in Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church Belfast.

The Osborne family lived in the townland of Ballycultra and then at 11 Marine Parade, Holywood.

Thomas Edens Osborne was a general merchant and in his list of merchandise he included bicycles and ‘talking machines’.  He and Margaret had eleven children:

James Quarell (born 3 November 1882)

Mary Beatrice (born 4 November 1883)

Jane Hoy (born 28 December 1885)

Eliza Ferguson (born 10 March 1887)

Margaret Smith (born 15 December 1888)

Emily (born 11 July 1889)

Thomas Edens (born 15 January 1890)

William John (born 21 June 1894 in Cultra)

Edens (daughter, born around 1897)

Eileen (born 14 April 1900)

Samuel Quarell (born 28 July 1903)

William Osborne was educated at Sullivan Male National School Holywood and at Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI).  He moved to Canada where he worked as a labourer before he enlisted on 7 November 1914 in Vancouver.  It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 4 inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.  William Osborne served with the 29th Battalion Canadian Infantry and he was 21 when he was killed in action on 8 October 1915.

His Battalion was in a section of trenches at Tea Farm (later known as Pond Farm) near Wulverghem. The war diary reported that Friday 8 October had been a ‘quiet day’ until about 6.00 pm when an enemy mine exploded in front of the 28th Battalion which was situated to their left and ‘considerable bombing and shelling took place’.  Private William John Osborne was killed in the explosion along with many men from the 28th Battalion.

Private William John Osborne (No. 75393) was buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium and he is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and in Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.