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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Photograph Murray Biddle.
Person Details
Winkburn, Nottinghamshire
William Henry was the son of William Albert and Alice Drabble (née Caudwell). His father William Albert was born in Wellow, Nottinghamshire, on 1 September 1871, the son of George Drabble and his wife Ann (née Spittlehouse). He was baptised at Wellow St Swithin on 1 October 1871. His mother Alice was born in Winkburn, Nottinghamshire, on 14 November 1873, the daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Caudwell. She was baptised at Winkburn St John of Jerusalem on 21 December 1873. William Albert and Alice were married at Winkburn St John of Jerusalem on 6 August 1894 and the couple made their first home there. Their first child, William Henry, was born in Winkburn on 2 October 1894 and baptised in Southwell Minster on 25 November the same year. After their son's birth, William and Alice moved to Easthorpe, Southwell, where their second son Arthur was born on 9 January 1896 and baptised on 9 February 1896, also in Southwell Minister. Their third and last child, Phyllis Margery, was born in Southwell on 30 July 1905. In 1901 Albert, a bricklayer's labourer, and his wife were living in Easthorpe, Southwell, with their sons William (6) and Arthur (5). Phyllis was born four years later. The family was still living in Easthorpe in 1911. William was a grocer's apprentice, Arthur a grocer's errand boy, and Phyllis was still at school. William later moved to Worksop where he was an assistant to a grocer, GT Smith, of Bridge Place. William and Alice were recorded at 89 Easthorpe in 1939 when the England and Wales Register was compiled; William was a builder and contractor. Alice died in 1946 and William Albert in 1954. Arthur married Mildred Mary Raven (b. 1 April 1903 d. 1984) in 1928 and they had one son, Eric Alan (b. 4 July 1929 d. 22 June 2018). In 1939 they were living on Lower Kirklington Road, Southwell; Arthur was a grocer's assistant. Arthur died in 1972. Phyllis Margery married George Irving Arnold in 1936; there were probably no children of the marriage. In 1939 they were living in Lincoln where George was a shop assistant at Boots the Chemists. Phyllis died in 1991 (reg. A/M/J Nottingham).
In 1911 he was a grocer's apprentice. Before the war he was an assistant to Mr. GT Smith, grocer, of Bridge Place, Worksop
04 Oct 1917
53153 - CWGC Website
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
'B' Company, 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) William Henry served in France from 2 March 1915. He was killed on 4 October 1917, two days before his 23rd birthday, when the battalion's trenches were shelled by the enemy. He is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe (grave ref. II.U5). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Philosophe British Cemetery (extract): 'The cemetery was started in August 1915. In 1916 it was taken over by the 16th (Irish) Division, who held the Loos Salient at the time, and many of their dead were brought back to the cemetery from the front line. Succeeding divisions used the cemetery until October 1918, and men of the same Division, and often the same battalion, were buried side by side. After the Armistice, this cemetery was one of those used for the concentration of isolated graves from the Loos battlefield.' (www.cwgc.org) 'The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War 1914-1919, 1/8th Battalion', p.209 (St Elie and Hill 70, 1917-1918): 'Our most unpleasant experience undoubtedly was on October 4th when we got caught in the bombardment connected with an attempted Boche raid on the 7th Battalion whom we were relieving ... B Company unfortunately got mixed up with some of the shelling and lost several men, including Sergt. Drabble, who was killed.'
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'In loving memory' Sergt. W. H. Drabble Worksop Guardian 2 November 1917 'Information has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Drabble, Easthorpe, Southwell, that their eldest son, Serge. W. H. Drabble, Sherwood Foresters was killed in action on October 4th, two days prior to his 23rd birthday. Sergt. Drabble was offered a commission in February last, but he declined. For nearly 12 months prior to the War, Sergt. Drabble was assistant with Mr. G. T. Smith, grocer, Bridge Place, Worksop, by whom he was highly esteemed. Of a very genial disposition, he made many friends amongst the young men in the town. He was a keen footballer and a member of the Worksop Thursday Team. The news of his death will be deeply felt by his friends in Worksop, and their sympathy will go out to his parents in their bereavement.' Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father William Albert was his sole legatee.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Photograph Murray Biddle.
    William Henry Drabble - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Photograph Murray Biddle.