Cecil William Beresford was born in June 1875, the oldest of five children. He shared the same first name as his father, so became known as William. Cecil Sr was a barrister in London and he and his wife, Caroline, brought the family up in Kingsbury, London.
Things certainly went well for the Beresford family. By 1901, Cecil was a county judge, and had relocated the family to Devon. William, by this time, was training to be a barrister, and lived with his parents, siblings and four servants in Weare Hall, overlooking the village of Weare Giffard, near Bideford.
From this point on, information about William is a bit sketchy. He does not appear on the 1911 census – by this time Cecil and Caroline had moved to Weston-super-Mare, where Cecil died a year later. It is likely that William had enlisted in the army by this point, and was posted overseas.
William’s military records are not available, but when war broke out in 1914, he joined the Royal Defence Corps and, through his service, had attained the rank of Major.
In October 1917, a number of the local newspapers ran this brief report:
The death has occurred in a military hospital at Weymouth of Major Cecil William Beresford (RDC), eldest son of his Honour, the late Judge Beresford and Mrs Beresford, late of Wear Gifford Hall, and subsequently of Penquarry, Weston-super-Mare. He was 42 years old.Western Times: 17th October 1917
Sadly, this is all that remains to document Major Beresford’s passing. There is nothing to confirm whether he had been wounded or had fallen ill, and there are no newspaper reports around his funeral.
Cecil William Beresford was laid to rest in the Milton Cemetery in his mother’s adopted home town of Weston-super-Mare.