Rank: Drummer TF/2653
Regiment or Ship: 2/5th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Service Number(s): TF/2653
Occupation: At School (1911 Census
Date of Birth: 1898
Place of Birth: Hooe, Sussex
Date of Death: 16.07.1915 (buried 20th July 1915)
Place of Death: East Sussex Hospital Place of Burial / Memorials:
Hooe (St. Oswald) Churchyard (Official War Grave).
Address: Broad Street Green, Hooe, Sussex (from 1911 census)
Photos and newspaper articles
Click on any image to see a larger version
William Ernest Plester was only 17 when he died and no record of a marriage have been found.
William & Julia Plester (née Sheather) – married in 1896 at Wigston Magna, Leicester. When William Plester died (no record has been found) Julia, William, and James went to stay with Julia’s father and her brother, John Sheather and Horace Sheather.
In 1922, William’s mother, a widow, married an Alfred Bland in the district of Battle, which is why, on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website, it states “Son of A. Bland (formerly Plester), of 41, Devonshire Rd., Bexhill-on-Sea, and the late William Plester. Born at Hooe.” The only problem is that they have used Alfred’s initial and not Julia’s, which is confusing.
Frank William John Plester, born Hooe, in 1896
Sidney James Plester (known as James), born Hooe, in 1905
First World War Experience
Like so many other First World War soldiers, William’s service records did not survive the bombing of the Second World War so there are no records to tell us of which theatre of war he was in.
The following is the local newspaper report of his funeral and it gives the names of relatives and friends.
Bexhill Chronicle – 31st July 1915
MILITARY FUNERAL AT HOOE
The funeral took place, with military honours, on Tuesday, at Hooe Churchyard, of Drummer William Plester, aged 17, of the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment. The deceased died at the East Sussex Hospital. The funeral procession started from Hooe Common, being escorted by men from the company of which deceased was a member, and also the Hooe Scouts. Captain Barlow and Sergeant-Major Crouch were present, and several wounded soldiers. The procession made its way to the cemetery, where the Rev. Cuthbert Routh conducted the service. A firing party of the Royal Sussex Regiment fired three rounds over the grave, and a bugler sounded the “Last Post”. The mourners included Mrs. J. Plester (mother), Private Frank Plester, 3rd Royal. Sussex (Newhaven), Sidney James Plester (brothers), Mr. John Sheather (grandfather); Mr. H. Sheather (uncle), Mrs. Phillips (aunt), Mr. and Mrs. F. Sheather (uncle and aunt), Mr. and Mrs. F. Hutchinson (uncle and aunt), Mr. and Mrs. A. Sheather (uncle and aunt), Mrs. F. Coombes (aunt).