CWG: Private William Jarvis

Private William Jarvis

William Edward Jarvis was born in the spring of 1875, the son of silk printer Edward Jarvis and his wife Elizabeth. He was one of five children, and the family were raised in Crayford, Kent.

When he left school, William found work as a stoker, and this is what he was doing when, in the summer of 1903, he married local engineer’s daughter Maud Kitchener. The couple set up home with Maud’s widowed mother, and went on to have three children, Ivy, Edward and Edna.

War was coming to Europe, and while full details of William’s military service are unclear, it is evident that he had enlisted to play his part by October 1915. He was assigned to the 3rd Supply Company of the 2nd/4th Battalion of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and served as part of the territorial force.

Private Jarvis was part of the team given the duty of guarding two explosives factories near Faversham. He was on duty on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd April 1916 when a fire near one of the buildings set off a series of massive explosions, killing more than 100 people, William included. He was 40 years of age.

William Edward Jarvis was laid to rest, along with the other victims of the Faversham Explosion, in the town’s Borough Cemetery.

Memorial to the Faversham Explosion, Borough Cemetery

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