Service number 138626
Born: April 24th 1912
Died: June 26th 1944
William was the only son of the 2nd Baron Vestey and his wife Frances Sarah Howarth. He was born in London on April 24th 1912. He had two sisters.
In 1919, the whole family went on a round voyage to China leaving Liverpool on June 24th on the Albion Star. In August and September 1928, he accompanied his mother and a sister on a visit to Uraguay and Brazil, arriving at Monte Video and returning from Santos.
He was educated at Radley and Matriculated in 1930. Whilst at Radley, he played cricket for the school and, later for the Scots Guards. Whilst at Christ Church he was a member of the University Athletics Club and got a Blue for Squash.
He spent most of 1936 in Brazil where the Vesteys had land and business interests.
At the beginning of September 1939, he left Southampton for New York on the Aquitania. On September 18th, the Melbourne Argus reported his engagement to Pamela Fullerton Armstrong of Victoria, Australia.
On Friday September 29th, the Argus reported in their “THE WORLD OF WOMEN SOCIAL “ column
MARRIED IN CANADA Vestey-Armstrong
VICTORIA (B.C.). Thursday.
The marriage was celebrated yesterday of Pamela only child of Mr and Mrs George Armstrong of Coombe Cottage, Coldstream, Victoria (Aust), to William Howard [sic] only son of the Hon. Samuel Vestey and Mrs. Vestey, of Stowell Park Gloucestershire, and Manchester Square, London, England, and grandson of Lord Vestey.
The bride is a granddaughter of the late Dame Nellie Melba and of Mr George Armstrong at whose ranch at Shawligan[sic] Lake Vancouver Island she and her parents have been staying. The bridegroom’s grandfather Lord Vestey is head of the Blue Star Steamship Line, and other enterprises in England
The ceremony was performed by Archdeacon Nunns at the Anglican church.
The State of Victoria was chosen for the wedding because it is a little bit of old England on the shores of the Pacific The bride and bridegroom met in Australia when Mr Vestey visited the Commonwealth to inspect properties of his family.
The pretty bride wore a beautiful cream gown with a real lace collar and a full length tulle veil and carried a bouquet of gardenias.
After the wedding 40 friends were entertained at luncheon. For her going-away frock Mrs Vestey chose a powder-blue suit with hat to match
The young couple left by steamer for Seattle whence they will proceed to Washington for a brief stay before they sail for England from New York probably late in October
Originally they planned to have the wedding in Melbourne later this year. The outbreak of war necessitated an alteration in the plans.The bridegroom obtained five weeks leave of absence to come to Victoria for the ceremony.
He arrived back in Southampton with his 21 year old bride on October 23rd. They had two sons.
On July 4th 1940, William was gazetted from OCTU to be a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards. He was promoted Captain on February 26th 1942.
He was killed near Lake Bolsena whilst commanding the Left Flank under constant heavy mortar fire, on June 26th 1944.
His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Taylor and two Guardsmen were killed at the same time. Lt. D.J. Forbes and sixteen men were wounded.
He is buried in the Bolsena War Cemetery Plot III, C, 12.
He is commemorated in the churchyard of St. Michael’s Church, Yanworth. Gloucestershire near the Vestey’s home at Stowell Park.
His wife took her sons on a visit to Australia in September 1945. Her eldest son succeeded his grandfather in 1954 as the 3rd Baron Vestey, at the age of 13.
She died at her home in Australia on September 2nd 2011, wife of “her beloved Bill”.