Research by Douglas MacKenzie
Text by Dr Phil Weaver
Born in Woodmansterne, Surrey in 1893, William was the son of George and Clara Eastland. He began his golfing career as an Assistant to Ashley Davey the Golf Professional at Thanet Golf Club, Margate, Kent. After serving part of his apprenticeship there he later moved to South Herts to take up a similar position with the renowned golfer Harry Vardon who would go on to win the Open Golf Championship a record 6 times. Vardon was also know as one of the Great Triumvirate along with James Braid and John Henry Taylor as these three gentlemen were instrumental in forming the Professional Golfers’ Association in 1901. So, it is beyond dispute William Eastland was tutored by the best. Young William was elected an Assistant member of the PGA in 1912 in the Southern Section.
Encouraged by his peers in September 1914, and along with many other Golf Professionals and Assistants, he gathered at Gatti’s Italian Restaurant in Old Street, London. Afterwards a group of them posed for a photograph in Trafalgar Square under Nelson’s Column before seeking the nearest recruitment office. 26 of them were passed as fit and travelled to Winchester to join the 13th Battalion of The Rifle Brigade.
Lance Corporal William Eastland was involved in fighting at Mametz Wood and Bazentin before falling in action on 14th November 1916 during the Battle of Ancre the last offensive of the Somme. William was just 23 years of age and is remembered with honour at the Contay British Cemetery Ref: II.F.7.