Rank, service number and regiment
2nd Lieutenant 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry and 10th Squadron Royal Flying Corps – Observer.
William probably enlisted in 1916 – we currently have no documentation confirming the date or location.
His last home address, shown on the census of 1911, was Stembridge Farm, now Stembridge House. William was boarding with Theophilus and Elizabeth Hunt, retired innkeeper, at Stembridge Farm.
Date of death
22 January 1917
Age of death
Circumstances of death
William’s ‘plane collided with another ‘plane near the airfield at Chocques, France where the 10th Squadron Royal Flying Corps was based. William was an Observer. His death was deemed ‘killed in action’. The pilot was called Stanley Woodley, he was also killed. The number of the plane was BE2gA2744. William was mentioned in despatches, which indicates he had shown outstanding courage.
Chocques Military Cemetery, France
Date of birth & full name
December 25th 1887, Leeds. WILLIAM KELLETT
School Teacher for Somerset County Council in the 1911 census and up until he enlisted with the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry in 1916. He was for some years a teacher at the Kingsbury Episcopi Council Schools. He embarked for France on 5 October 1916.
Frederick William Kellett 1854-1919 and Hannah Kellett (nee Midgley) 1855 – 1915 of Leeds, Yorkshire. Frederick was a warehouseman in 1891, a clerk in 1901.
Frederick and Hannah’s children: Maud Mills b.1876, married 1901 to Cecil Rayner. Amy b.1878. Kate Ethel b.1881. Laura b.1883. Beatrice b.1886. William b.1887 d. 1917.
Spouse & children
William was unmarried
British War Medal, Victory Medal.
William was baptised on 12th March 1891, at St.Agnes and St.Stephen’s Church, Burmantofts, Leeds, Yorkshire. He was confirmed at All Saints, Martock on 25th May 1914 and took his first communion at St.Martin’s, K.E. on 31st May 1914 prior to him enlisting. See photo below, which shows his confirmation and first communion dates, in a book found in St.Martin’s vestry in 2018.
In 1891, 41 Shakespeare St., Leeds.
In 1901 , 15 Tonbridge Place, Leeds.
In 1911 , Stembridge Farm, K.E.
In his will of 1917 his address is given as: 17 Richmond Mount, Headingley, Leeds – this was his sister Maud’s address.
William was an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps. This was in the earliest days of what was to become the RAF (Royal Air Force). Men were initially recruited from the army, to observe and record the location of enemy trenches. Balloons and then planes were used, which at first were not armed. There was a high mortality rate as the balloons and planes were low to the ground in order to see the terrain below, within range of anti-aircraft artillery on the ground. Later, the planes had guns, and the observers used cameras to record the terrain.