William Percy Bezer

Memorial: Chipping Sodbury Town Cross - Broad Street

Regiment: Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey)

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private G/22855

Parents: James and Louisa Ann Bezer of Acton Lane, Iron Acton, Bristol

Marital status: Married

Home address: Lilliput Court Stables, Old Sodbury, Bristol

Pre-war occupation: Groom

Date of birth: 31/07/1887

Place of birth: Iron Acton, Bristol

Date of death: 26/04/1918

Buried/Commemorated at: Hangard Wood British Cemetery, Picardy (II. C. 2.), Somme, France

Age: 30

Further information:

7th Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

William Percy Bezer (Beazer is a misspelling according to the family) was the son of James and Lousa Ann Bezer (nee Payne or Pain). He was one of a large family, with brothers Thomas, George, John, William and Reuben, with twins Serbert James and Doris Alexandra. By the 1911 census he had a living-in job as a groom at the Lilliput Court Stables, Old Sodbury, Bristol, it showed him as a boarder in the household of the Head Groom.

William Percy was married to Harriet Elizabeth Walker aged 29 from Wapley, at Wapley and Codrington parish Church on January 25th 1915.

The action in which Percy was killed involved the defence of Amiens in the aftermath of the German Spring Offensive. The fighting was particularly intense along the road from St Quentin to Amiens, and had been for most of April 1918. The village and Hangard Wood itself were the scene of incessant fighting, but the line was held. Percy was thus involved in part of the final clearance of the Somme battlefields. He died in action on the 26th April 1918 at Domart-sur-la-Luce. The British Cemetery in which he was laid to rest has only 141 Commonwealth burials, but 39 of these are unidentified.

William Percy Bezer is remembered on the on the Chipping Sodbury Town Cross, the Rangeworthy (Methodist) Church Memorial and on the Chipping Sodbury and District Memorial Cottage Hospital board, now at Yate and District Heritage Centre under Chipping Sodbury.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Alison Benton (2014) Remembered with Honour. Sprint Print, Yate and contributions from Christopher Graham Bezer, (Grand nephew). Forces War Records