William Gordon Blackwell was born in Harrow Weald, Middlesex in 1885, the son of Samuel John Blackwell and his wife, Elizabeth Chrisp Blackwell (nee Howard), of the Crosse and Blackwell family.
Baptised on 14th September 1885 in the Parish of Harrow Weald in Middlesex.
Samuel Blackwell and his wife, Elizabeth Blackwell brought up their 11 children at Brookshill House, Harrow Weald.
1911 Census records William aged 25 and married under one year, (his wife’s name is not given just an initial “W”) they have a live-in Domestic Servant and her mother and brother are living with them. His Occupation is given as a Stock Jobber. Living at "The Kilns" Harrow Weald, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex.
William and his elder brother Charles enlisted together in The Honourable Artillery Company with the Service No. 953 (Charles 954). He landed in France on 18th September 1914, with the HAC. He was sent for officer training and commissioned Lieutenant and posted to the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 27th January 1915. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme on 5th October 1916, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Pier & Face 8C, 9A & 16A. (Battle of the Somme 1st July 1916 to 18th November 1916).
In 1910, at the age of 69, his father Samuel inherited the Manor House at Chipperfield and became a great benefactor to the village. In 1915 Samuel and Elizabeth celebrated their Golden Wedding, but it was not a happy year for them as news came that their son, Charles, serving as Second Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, had been killed in action on 20 July 1915, aged 32.
The following year, a second son, William Gordon, known as ‘Don’, serving as a Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) was also killed in France. After the war in 1922, Samuel and Elizabeth had the Chipperfield Social Club built in their memory. Samuel never got over his loss. His health deteriorated and he died in January 1923. Today ‘Blackwell’s’, which stands next to the Common, is a social club and café.
William Gordon and his brother, Charles Blackwell, are commemorated on the St Matthew’s Church Memorial, Oxhey, near ‘Oxhey Place’, a family home of the Blackwell’s.