William George DEAKIN MC

Major 127571 William George DEAKIN RFA, RHA, was the third son of William Robert DEAKIN and Betsy HODSON. William, was born on 25 May 1890 at 43 Poolstock Lane, Wigan, Lancashire.

In the 1901 Census William (aged 10 years) is recorded as being a boarder at New College, Pannal, Harrogate, Yorkshire, with his older brothers Samuel Wesley Deakin (aged 14 years) and John Bertram Deakin (aged 13 years).

After leaving school, William went to Manchester University where he studied Commerce for two years. William then spent two years in North America where he studied food canning in California, Chicago and Ontario. Whilst in Ontario he also worked for 6 months on railway constuction and surveying.

On returning to England, following the outbreak of the First World War, William briefly attended Cheltenham Grammar School to study for the Royal Military Academy entrance examinations. William passed the exams and joined the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a Cadet in 1915. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Royal Horse Artillery on 27 October 1915 (London Gazette 26 October 1915) and on appointment was ordered to embark with the British Expeditionary Force. William embarked for France on 5 November 1915 and joined ‘K’ Battery of the RHA which was attached to the 2nd Cavalry Brigade. William served in Flanders and was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 July 1917 (London Gazette 17 September 1917).

On 4 February 1918 (London Gazette 12 April 1918) William was appointed acting Captain whilst in command of ‘B’ Battery 223rd Brigade RFA and later acting Major from 13 -21 March 1918 (London Gazette 13 June 1918).

Later in 1918, Lt. (A/Capt.) William George Deakin, RFA, was awarded the Military Cross (gazetted 16 September 1918) for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When heavy machine-gun fire killed several horses and men, this officer, under a hail of bullets, extricated live horses from the dead and was instrumental in saving guns, enabling the battery to come into action again an hour later.”

On leave from the war, William married Dorothea May BURROW in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire on Saturday 10 August 1918. The couple were married by Rev. S.S. Shrubsole B.D. at Highbury Congregational Church, Cheltenham (see article from The Evesham Journal, 17 August 1918).

Capt William G. Deakin with his wife Dorothea May (née Burrow) centre. Dorothea’s parents, Edward John Burrow and his wife Alice Elizabeth Burrow (née Fildes) left of the couple, William Robert Deakin and Mary Jane Deakin (née Hartley) seated to the right. The bride was attended by Beatrice Millar Burrow (left) and Bessie Deakin (right). Lieut George Deakin MC was best man (centre back) and Billy Deakin was the page and Muriel ‘Bunty’ Fildes the third bridesmaid.

William continued to serve in France until 11 November 1918. In addition to receiving the Military Cross, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He resigned his commission on 11 May 1919 but continued to serve with the Army and went on to serve during the Second World War.

William and Dorothea had the following children:

  1. Peter Robert Burrow DEAKIN, b. 5 Jul 1920, d. 23 Jan 1997
  2. Thomas M Burrow DEAKIN, b. 1921, d. 1923
  3. William DEAKIN, b. 1922, d. 1922

William and Dorothea lived at Toddington, Gloucestershire, where William worked in the family’s jam and canning factory at Norton Fields. On Saturday 21 August 1920, Capt. William Deakin unveiled the war memorial at Alderton. Ex-bugler, A. Tandy sounded the Last Post3.

William, who was appointed a director of W.R. Deakin Ltd in 1923, resigned as a director in November 1923 and moved to London.

Dorothea filed for divorce in November 1929. William and Dorothea later separated and were divorced in 1932. By June 1935, William had moved to 17 Tunnend Street, Boston, Lincolnshire. William served during the Second World War both at home and in Germany from 1945 and at the end of the war was awarded the Defence Medal.

William secondly married Majorie Fletcher in 1940 and they lived in Earls Court, London. 

William died on 3 July 1954, aged 64 years, at Mountlands, Bowdon, Cheshire. 

Parents of William George DEAKIN MC

William Robert DEAKIN

Siblings of William George DEAKIN MC

Samuel Wesley DEAKIN
John Bertram DEAKIN
May Elizabeth DEAKIN
Robert Hartley DEAKIN
James Stanley DEAKIN


  1. Michael Thomas (Tom) Deakin was born in August 1921 in Toddington, neat Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Tom died aged 22 months and was buried on 14 June 1923 in the cemetery at Winchombe.
  2. William Deakin was born in November 1922 at the Deakin home in the grounds of the canning factory at Toddington, Gloucestershire. William only lived for 18 hours, he was christened by Rev. Lovett and at home and was buried in the cemetery at Winchcombe on 8 November 1922.
  3. The Evesham Standard, 28 August 1920. The war memorial at Alderton constructed of portland stone at a cost of £175. Albert Tandy was the brother of Florence Tandy who married John Bertram Deakin.