Killed in Action in France during the Somme Battle
Will was one of the very best. It had been my privilege to know him very intimately since his confirmation about fifteen years ago. His consistent faithfulness to his religious duties and his high ideals were often a great stand-by when one was downhearted at some or other of the lads. He had a singularly loyal mind and abhorrence of that which is evil. Naturally of a quiet and retiring disposition, he was always ready to get some lads together for a Bank Holiday walk or other excursion, and always self forgetful and ready to make the outing a pleasure to the others…
He took up woodcarving as his trade, and attained a very high measure of skill and proficiency, and was never so happy as when doing something for a church… During the first period of his training as a recruit he busied himself with drawing plans for a beautiful canopy for the statue of Our Lady… He offered to get a friend to carve it for us in case he did not come back from the war, but said he should consider it a great privilege if he could come back and do it himself.
The remarkable thing was the way – by the grace and power of God and the sheer goodness which came from that – he grew to have such a strong influence over others. Wherever he went he left a mark of goodness and influence for good behind him…
Dear Will, in the better land and the fuller life, there will surely be some service to accomplish after all this practice. There will not be much carving needed to fit him for his place in a niche in the walls of the new Jerusalem.
Charles H. Turner SSJE
Cowley Evangelist, 1916