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  • Photograph first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine after his death
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
David was the son of David and Annie Tanner (née Haughton). His father David was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire,(birth registered 1872 J/F/M), the son of Charles Tanner, a coal merchant, and his wife Caroline (née Steele). In 1891 the family was living on Albert Road, Ordsall, East Retford. His mother Annie was born in Woodhouse, Yorkshire, on 21 June 1872, the daughter of George Haughton. The family later lived in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire. David and Annie were married on 30 March 1891 at St Mary's parish church, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, and had thirteen children all of whom were born in Retford. The eldest child, Harold Tanner Haughton, was born the year before their marriage; later records gave his surname as 'Tanner'. Their children, who included two who died young, were: Harold b. 24 April 1890 bap. Retford St Swithun 9 November 1891; Charles b. 1891 bap. Retford St Swithun 9 November 1891; David birth registered 1894 (J/F/M); Doris May birth registered 1896 (J/F/M); Margery b. 1897; Allan b. 1898 (J/A/S) d. 1898 (J/A/S); Lucy birth registered 1900 (J/F/M) d. 1906 (J/F/M); Lewin b. 12 February 1901; Donald b. 20 November 1902 (reg. 1903 J/F/M); Barbara b. 12 October 1905; Allan b. 1 December 1906 (reg. 1907 J/F/M); Bernard b. 1908 and Mary Joan birth registered 1911 (J/F/M). At the time of the 1891 Census, shortly after their marriage, David, a coal dealer's assistant, was recorded living with his parents in Ordsall and Annie and their son Harold (1) with her parents in Clarborough. However, by 1901 David, a colliery agent, and Annie were at 11 Wright Wilson Street, Ordsall, with their seven children, Harold, Charles, David, Doris, Margery, Lucy and Lewin. An eighth child, Allan had died in 1898, the year of his birth. Also in the household were two general domestic servants. David snr, a coal merchant, and Annie were living at Calamite House, Carolgate, Retford, by 1911. In the home on the night of the census were ten of their eleven surviving children: Harold and Doris who were clerks in a coal office, probably working for their father, David, Margery (Madge), Lewin, Donald and Barbara who were at school, and Allan (b. 1906), Bernard and Mary Joan. The second son, Charles, was a patient at the David Lewis Epileptic Colony at Marthall near Alderley Edge. Their third daughter Lucy had died five years earlier in 1906. David and Annie employed a cook and a domestic nurse/housemaid. David snr. died on 21 July 1934; Probate was awarded to his son Harold, a coal merahcnt, and an accountant. His widow was still living at Calamite House in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled. Also in the household were two of her children, Barbara and Allan, a laboratory assistant, and two female elementary school teachers who were probably lodgers. Annie Tanner died in 1959, her daughter Barbara in 1979 and son Allan on 2 January 1976. The eldest son, Harold, served in the 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters (2/Lieut). In 1939 he was a coal merchant factor and living in Retford with his wife Lilian (b. 1897) and son David (b. 5 September 1920), a bank clerk. The record of one other member of the household, probably a second child, remains closed. Harold died in 1980. Lewin and his wife Margaret (b. 1899) were also living in Retford in 1939; they probably had three children (records closed). He too was a coal merchant (partner). Lewin died in 1982. Donald married Grace Hempsall in 1936 and died in 1974. Bernard died in 1923 aged 15. Charles, Doris May, Margery and Mary Joan have not yet been traced after 1911.
He attend Retford King Edward VI Grammar School. He went to London University and then Sheffield University. He was an assistant master at a school in Kent.
30 Aug 1917
1770317 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
David enlisted in September 1914 into the Sherwood Foresters and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was commissioned second lieutenant, gazetted 2nd July 1915, and joined the 8th Bn Sherwood Foresters. He was reported missing after a reconnaissance expedition on the French front during the night of August 19th 1917 and his death was later officially accepted as having occurred on, or shortly after, 30th August 1917. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Loos memorial. 'The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War 1914-1919, 1/8th Battalion', p.205 (St Elie and Hill 70, 1917-1918): 'The first tour was very quiet, but was marred by the unfortunate loss on patrol of 2nd Lieut. D Tanner and Corpl. Wright on August 30th. Tanner very gallantly undertook to reconnoitre a Boche post, and took out with him Corpl. Wright and two men. The two men got back safely, but Tanner and the NCO were missing, and were reported later to have either been killed or two have died of wounds.'
The following article is taken from the 'In memoriam' section of the 'Retfordian' magazine which was an in-house publication of the King Edward VI Grammar School, Retford :- 'Lieutenant David Tanner 8th Notts and Derby Regiment as stated in our last issue, was reported as 'missing' after a reconnaissance expedition on the French front during the night of August 19th last. The gallant young officer's name was included in an official list from Germany, and his father Mr David Tanner, of Retford has received a report from the War office that the 'death of Second Lieutenant D Tanner has been officially accepted as having occurred on, or shortly after 30th August 1917.' David Tanner - whom many O.R. will remember for his magnificent swimming, for he was our champion in swimming and diving two years in succession, was one of the most brilliant of our pupils in recent years., a boy who might have achieved conspicuous success in almost any sphere of intellectual activity. Enlisting in September 1914, as a private in the Sherwood Foresters, he was rapidly promoted to the rank of sergeant, and saw two years hard service on the French front. he was offered a commission, and after a short training with a cadet corps, was gazetted to the 8th Notts and Derby Regiment. In less than a fortnight he was in the trenches, and on the fourth night went over the top with a small party, and did not return.' Worksop Guardian 15 February 1918: 'Lieut. David Tanner 'Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, of South Retford, have been officially notified that their second son, Lieut. David Tanner, Sherwood Foresters, has been killed in action. With his brother Harold, he joined the colours soon after the outbreak of war, and after serving two years in France was recommended for a commission. His brother and he both obtained commissions and returned to the front last spring. The deceased had a brilliant career at the Retford Grammar School, and afterwards matriculated at London University. Up to the time of joining the army he was attached to the teaching staff of one of the secondary schools in Kent. Research by Colin Dannatt.
Remembered on


  • Photograph first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine after his death
    David Tanner - Photograph first published in the 'Retfordian' magazine after his death