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William Duncan GEARE

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Surname: GEARE

Forename(s): William Duncan

Place of Birth: Hampstead, Middlesex

Service No: ---

Rank: Chaplain 4th Class

Regiment / Corps / Service: Army Chaplains’ Department

Battalion / Unit: attd. 165th Brigade

Division: 55th (West Lancashire) Division

Age: 26

Date of Death: 1917-07-31

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: VI. A. 1.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: ILKLEY, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

William Duncan Geare (born 28 November 1890) was the son of Henry Cecil and Caroline Isabella Geare, née Galloway. Both parents were born at St. Pancras, Middlesex.

1891 Hampstead, Middlesex Census: 22, Stanley Gardens - William D. Geare, aged 4 months, born Hampstead, son of Henry C.and Caroline I. Geare.

1901 Hampstead, Middlesex Census: 14, Chalcot Gardens - William D. Geare, aged 10 years, born Hampstead, son of Henry C. and Caroline M. [sic] Geare.

1911 Hampstead, Middlesex Census: 14, Chalcot Gardens - William Duncan Geare, aged 20 years, born Hampstead, son of Henry Cecil and Caroline Isabella Geare.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Rev. William Duncan Geare, Royal Army Chaplains' Department. Correspondence: Mr. H.L. Geare applies for late Brother's Medals, 30 December 1920. Address 1: 3/4, Clements Inn. Address 2: Miss E.J. Geare, 14, Chalcot Gardens, Hampstead, NW3.

Rev. Geare served with the 1/7th and 1/9th Battalions King's (Liverpool Regiment).

Photograph courtesy of Westminster School.

Data Source: Craven Herald Article


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


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Chaplain 4th Class William Duncan GEARE

Chaplain 4th Class William Duncan GEARE

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Army Chaplains’ Department

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Army Chaplains’ Department

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 55th (West Lancashire) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 55th (West Lancashire) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: GEARE

Forename(s): William Duncan





Rank: Rev

Regiment: Royal Army Chaplains' Department



Died Date: 31/07/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War:


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: GEARE, The Rev.

Forename(s): William Duncan

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number:

Rank: Chaplain 4th Class

Regiment: Army Chaplains' Department attd. 165th Inf. Bde.


Age: 26


Died Date: 31/07/1917

Additional Information: Son of Henry Cecil and Caroline Isabella Geare, of 14, Chalcot Gardens, Hampstead, London. Served with 7th and 9th Bns. The King's Liverpool Regt. at Ypres. Of Westminster School and Queen's College, Cambridge. M.A. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: CALLED AND CHOSEN AND FAITHFUL WITH CHRIST WHICH IS FAR BETTER)

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DE RUVIGNY'S ROLL OF HONOUR 1914-1918 – Part Three

GEARE, WILLIAM DUNCAN, M.A., cantab., Capt., Army Chaplains’ Dept., attd. 1/7th and 1/9th The King’s (Liverpool Regt.) (T.F.), yr. s. of Henry Cecil Geare, of 14, Chalcot Gardens, Hampstead, N.W., Solicitor, by his wife, Caroline Isabella, dau. of the Rev. William Brown Galloway; b. Hampstead, N.W., 28 Nov. 1890; educ. Westminster School, and Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. degree; passed into the Leeds Clergy School; was ordained Deacon in Ripon Cathedral Dec. 1913, becoming Curate at St. Margaret’s Ilkley; the following year he was ordained priest, and in Jan. 1915, took his M.A. degree; was gazetted Army Chaplain in May, 1916, and appointed to the R.A. and R.E. Depot at Ripon; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from Sept. 1916, with the King’s (Liverpool Regt.), and was killed in action in the fighting line at Ypres 31 July 1917, while ministering to the wounded. Buried in Vlamertinghe Cemetery, near Ypres. His Senior Chaplain wrote: “He was absolutely regardless of danger, always anxious to be with his men wherever they went, and he never spared himself in his anxiety to serve them. His bravery and example have been an inspiration, and his work all the time he has been out here has been splendid,” and another officer: “He insisted on living with us in the trenches and sharing our common dangers, and he was always doing good in one direction or another. Almost every day he went round some part of the trenches on his own accord, and whenever there was a raid on he was off like a shot to the dressing station to see what he could do for the wounded.” One of his men also wrote: “It came as a terrible blow to me and my chums of the 7th and 9th King’s to hear of Mr. Geare’s untimely death. If we were in need of help at any time, Mr. Geare was the one to see us through. At one time we had no canteen to keep us supplied with ‘fags’ while in the line. But Mr. Geare soon altered that, and made us happy. If any concerts were to be organized, leave that to Mr. Geare, and everything would be O.K. In fact if anything was needed to lighten our burdens and make us happy, Mr. Geare was the one to put things right for us. So you can imagine how much we feel his loss, the loss of more than a friend, as he proved himself in his Christian charity and willingness to succour those in need of it. . . . Mr. Geare has certainly, by his heroic death and noble work at all times, shown his critics that clergymen do not, and never did, shirk their duty as patriots by hiding under the protection of the Church.” Unm.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


GEARE the reverend William Duncan of 14 Chalcot-gardens Hampstead Middlesex clerk chaplain to His Majesty’s Forces died 31 July 1917 in France Probate London 8 September to Henry Leslie Geare captain His Majesty’s Army. Effects £379 16s. 1d.


View Craven Herald Articles

View Craven Herald Articles

Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

10 August 1917


News has been received of the death in action on July 31st of the Rev. William Duncan Geare, chaplain to the Forces and assistant curate at St. Margaret’s, Ilkley. Mr. Geare was educated at Westminster School and Queen’s College, Cambridge, and prior to his ordination was for some time at the Leeds Clergy School. He was ordained at the latter part of 1913, and took up work at Ilkley at the beginning of 1914. Since he went to the Front he has shared the dangers and the hardships of the men in the trenches.


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