William Charles Gould (1860-1915)
Park Keeper, Central Parks
William was born on 18 February 1860 in Bidford on Avon, Warwickshire, to Charles Gould, an agricultural labourer, and Mary, a charwoman. In his twenties, William joined the Royal Horse Artillery serving in St John’s Wood, Aldershot, Ambala (India) and Woolwich. Whilst there he rose in the ranks to become a ‘Rough Rider’, a term used to signify that he was an assistant instructor in equitation. In 1885 William married Mercy Ridgeway in Hampstead, north London; by 1911 they had five children. Following service in the Boer War in South Africa William left the army after 22 years’ service and started as a Park Keeper in St James’s Park on 7 April 1902. At that time, William and Mercy were living at 13 Smith Terrace, Chelsea.
In 1914, at the beginning of the war, William re-enlisted and joined 65 (Howitzer) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery at Shorncliffe, Kent where the unit was preparing to go to join the British Expeditionary Force in France. Whilst in Kent, Sergeant 87964 William Charles Gould contracted pneumonia and died in Shorncliffe Hospital on 26 January 1915.
He is buried in grave number N172859 in Brompton Cemetery, Chelsea.