King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Featherstone, William Davies

Second Lieutenant ▪ Royal Field Artillery

William Davies Featherstone, born on 5th March 1896, was admitted to King Edward’s School in December 1904. He was elected as a Foundation Scholar in 1913, and stayed at KES for a total of ten years. William lived with his father, a doctor, his mother, Isabella, and his older brother, Henry, also an Old Edwardian, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and survived the war. The family lived at ‘The Grove’, Erdington.

At School, William was an all-rounder: he was a singer and violin soloist, Secretary of the Music and Drama Society, a post held “with great popularity and vigour”, a player in the French play Les Plaideurs, and a Lance Corporal in the Officer Training Corps. He was also a member of the Debating Society, described by the Secretary of the period as “a popular speaker with natural abilities he turns to good use, and is not overburdened with argument.”

William joined the Royal Field Artillery as a Second Lieutenant at the outset of the war, and was awarded the Military Cross in August 1917, for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on two separate occasions under heavy shellfire, during which he showed extreme courage in putting out fires which had broken out in his gun-pits.” William was killed on the Somme on 23rd March 1918, aged twenty-two, having reached the rank of Lieutenant. He is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery, France.