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  • Buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Annesley Woodhouse Nottinghamshire
William Ernest was the son of William and Sarah Drabble (née Ash). His father William was born in Kirklington, Nottinghamshire, in 1870. In 1871 and 1881 he was living with his grandparents Benjamin Drabble, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Elizabeth at Moor Cottages, Kirklington. His mother Sarah Ash was born in Nottinghamshire in 1869 (J/A/S Nottingham, mother's maiden name Ash). In 1871 and 1881 Sarah was living in Saltby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, with her granparents, Richard, a cottager with 10 acres, and Sarah Ash. By 1891 Sarah (21) was living in Mansfield, a general domestic servant in the household of George Pickard, a retired grocer. William and Sarah were married in 1892 (J/F/M Melton Mowbray) and had nine children: William Ernest b. Annesley Woodhouse 1892; Walter b. Annesley Woodhouse; Walter b. Annesley Woodhouse 1895; Nellie b. Annesley Woodhouse 1897; John Hector b. Radford Nottingham 19 February 1900; Harry b. East Kirkby 23 December 1902 (reg. J/F/M 1903)' Wilfred b. East Kirkby 28 May 1906; Frank and Elizabeth (Lizzie) b. East Kirkby 26 March 1909 and Kathleen Alice A. b. East Kirkby 3 February 1915. In 1901 William, a coal hewer, and Sarah were living at 21 Ellis Street, East Kirkby, with their four children William (8), Walter (6), Nellie (3) and John (1). By 1911 William and Sarah had moved to 18 Sherwood Street, East Kirkby. William was now working as a warehouseman. All eight children were in the home on the night of the census: William and Walter who were colliery banksmen (above ground), Nellie, John, Harry (8), Wilfred (4) and Frank and Lizzie (2). Frank died in 1913 (O/N/D) and Kathleen was born two years later in 1915. The family had moved to 99 Low Moor Road, East Kirkby, by the time William and Walter enlisted in November 1914. William snr. completed a form for the army in November 1919 naming his late son's surviving blood relatives: Parents: William and Sarah, 99 Low Moor Road Brothers, Walter (24, address illegible), John (19, address illegible) and Harry (16) and Wilfred (13) of 99 Low Moor Road. Sisters: Nellie, Lizzie (10) and Kathleen (4), all probably of 99 Low Moor Road. However, William's parents were living at 101 Low Moor Road when Sarah died on 21 July 1937 and William was still at the same address when he died on 13 April the following year . Their son Walter also served in the Royal Garrison Artillery (52704 Gunner), enlisting on 16 November, two days after his brother, William. Walter, a coal miner, gave his age as 17 years 27 days. He joined at Newhaven on 18 November and served in France from 1915. Walter had home leave from 19 August 1918 to 2 September 1918 when he married Annie Bradbury (b. 15 July 1894) at East Kirkby parish church on 27 August. He was discharged from the army in December 1918 to Fisher Street, Nuncargate, Kirkby in Ashfield. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Walter, a newsagent, and his wife were living at 101 Low Moor Road with their daughter Edna (b. 6 October 1919). The record of one other member of the household remains closed. Walter died in 1987. Nellie married David A Budd in 1924. John Hector married Priscilla Millicent Collins (b. 13 June 1906) in 1924. In 1939 they were living on Cedar Grove, Kirkby in Ashfield; John was a cottons patent hand. Also in the home were Joseph Collins (b. 1867) a retired railway guard and two others whose records remain closed. John died in 1974. Harry married Florence Lowe (b. 6 July 1905) in 1937. In 1939 they were living on Cedar Grove, Kirkby in Ashfield; Harry was a newsagent. He died on 31 October 1948; his wife survived him. Wilfred married Florence A Abbott (b. 30 March 1910) in 1932. In 1939 Wilfred, a joiner foreman, and Florence were living in Hucknall with their son Howard (b. 3 August 1935). Wilfred died in 1996. Elizabeth married Albert R Marriott (b. 23 May 1909) in 1932. In 1939 Albert, a boot and shoe repairer on his own account, and Elizabeth were living in Warsop, with their son Peter (b. 21 February 1933). Elizabeth may have died in 2002. Kathleen Alice A. married Horace Hufton in 1938 and in 1939 they were living in Warsop; Horace was a colliery painter (surface). Kathleen died in 1998.
He was a colliery banksman above ground in 1911. He gave his occupation as coal miner when he enlisted in 1914.
24 Jul 1917
487603 - CWGC Website
99 Low Moor Road, East Kirkby, Nottinghamshrie. Attested Mansfield
16th Heavy Bty Royal Garrison Artillery
16th Heavy Bty Royal Garrison Artillery William Ernest attested at Mansfield 14 November 1914 and joined at Newhaven on 18 November 1914. William Ernest was killed on 24 July 1917 and was buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery, Belgium (grave ref. N 1). He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Maple Leaf Cemetery, Belgium (extract): 'Maple Leaf Cemetery was begun in December 1914 by fighting units and field ambulances, but from July 1915 to April 1916, the village was occupied by the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance and the cemetery thus acquired its present name. The last Commonwealth burial was made in December 1917, but German graves were added in April 1918 when the cemetery was in German hands.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone, personal inscription: 'We cannot Lord Thy purpse see but all is well that's done by Thee' Mansfield Reporter, 28 September 1917: ‘Memorial Service. A memorial service was held on Sunday evening at the Primitive Church in memory of Private CB Bowen, Private E Hall, and Gunner Drabble, RGA. The Rev. TR Auty conducted the service which was largely attended.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Drabble's effects returned to his father were letters, hymn book, song book, watch and leather lanyard, purse, English-French dictionary, leather wallet containing photos and paper cuttings, linen wallet containing note book, photos, papers and cards. He was also carrying £1/1/0 and 15 francs 85 centimes. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father William was his legatee. His mother wrote to the army in 1919 requesting a photograph of her son's grave; the letter was forwarded to the Imperial War Graves Commission on 2 July 1919. Probate; Drabble Sarah of 101 Low Moor-road East Kirkby Nottinghamshire (wife of William Drabble) died 21 June 1937. Probate Nottingham 22 July to Walter Drabble shop assistant and John Hector Drabble hosiery worker. Effects £599 10s. Probate: Drabble William of 101 Low Moor-road East Kirkby Nottinghamshire died 13 April 1938 Probate Nottingham 29 June to Walter Drabble newsagent and Henry Loveday Bosworth solicitor. Effects £468 19s. 6d.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    William Ernest Drabble - Buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)