Monday, 22 March 2010


William Walter England 1892-1914

This is not a member of my direct family but appears in the tree of my late cousin David Chant. In his notes David reports that William was a cabinet maker. It does not look like one of the England family businesses but there were a lot of irons in the fire and father John England was a pillar of the community running various enterprises.
William can not have found his occupation to be exciting enough for him or else was too intransigent. Whatever the reason he ran away from Crewkerne and went to join the Royal Engineers. He was based at Aldershot and served in Malta amongst his other postings.
In 1911 William became the boxing welterweight champion of the R.E. but this sport led to his ultimate demise. He was killed in a bout at Reading on 22nd July 1914. He had a military funeral and was buried at Crewkerne.
I have looked on the Internet to see if there is anything recorded about William's exploits and almost immediately have struck a snag. According to the R.E. website boxing did not start until 1920. Something else to be checked!
I have found a little more in a collection of records being made about fatalities caused by boxing. William and his opponent Charles Eggleton were both recently discharged soldiers. The date and place given by David were correct. William became groggy in the sixth round of a lightweight bout and suffered a technical knock out. He left the ring under his own steam but was found unconscious in his dressing room a little later and taken to hospital, where he died the next day. The death was reported in various newspapers (including 'The Times' on 25th July 1914).



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