Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Private William Kellett, 1st/4th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, died from wounds received a week earlier in what was described as “the great bayonet charge at Festubert”.
One of a family of five children of a railway platelayer, he attended Farington Endowed School and then went to work as a cotton weaver. A talented musician, he played the organ at Lostock Hall Methodist Church. Private Kellett enlisted on the 14th of December, 1914, and arrived in France on the 4th of May, 1915.
His battalion saw their first major action on the 15th of June at Festubert in what was considered an historic charge. There were four hundred and thirty-one casualties – killed, wounded or missing. Private Kellett was wounded in the leg and shoulder by machine-gun fire, and lay out in the open until found by stretcher-bearers the following day. He was taken to No. 1 General Hospital at Entretat, but his wounds were grievous and he died a week later.
Private Kellett lies buried in the Entretat Churchyard Cemetery in France, close to where he died. He is commemorated on the Lostock Hall War Memorial and on the memorial at St. James` Church in Lostock Hall.
William, from Lostock Hall, near Preston in Lancashire, was 20 years old.