William Paterson Esson
7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders
Died 4 August 1916 aged 23
Private W. Esson – Gordon Hrs.
William Paterson Esson’s family had strong links with Crathie, but his father was born in Lumphanan and his parents later lived at Morven Villa, Torphins, hence the connection with the parish. He was born on 22 August 1892 at “Street of Monaltrie”, Crathie, son of Robert Esson, General Labourer and Margaret Paterson who had married at Crathie in 1889. In 1891 Robert, Margaret and their three month old daughter Marjory were living at Crathie with Margaret’s mother, also Marjory, who gives her occupation in the census as “Merchant”.
Esson joined 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders (No. 512) at Banchory and was 23 when he was killed in action serving as part of “A” (Banchory) Coy. on 4 August 1916 in the Battle of the Somme. It is not clear exactly what happened to him that day. Between 1 and 6 August the 7th were in bivouacs north-east of Méaulte, having been relieved of front line duty and there is no note of any casualties on that date. In the last week of July, however, they had been engaged in very fierce and costly fighting around Mametz, Bezantin and High Wood. Possibly the date is not quite accurate or he died of wounds.
Private Esson is buried at Dartmoor Cemetery, Bécordel-Bécourt.