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  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Cecil Myers Dale in the General Cemetery, Nottingham
Courtesy of Peter Gillings
Person Details
19 Apr 1880
Carlton Nottingham
Cecil was the son of Alfred Thomas Dale and his wife Mary Lydia nee Slingsby. Alfred was born in Nottingham in 1859 and his wife in Derby in 1855. They were married in Nottingham in 1878 (J/A/S) and had 11 children of whom nine were still living at the time of the 1911 Census. Nine children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911; Mary/May Elizabeth (b. 1878), Cecil Myers (b. 1881), Emma (b. 1882), Lucy Ethel (b. 1884), Alfred Thomas (b. 1887), William (b. 1889), Ernest (b. 1891), Edith Ellen (b. 1895) and Elsie May (b. 1901). In 1881 Alfred, a baker, and Mary with their two children, Mary (2) and Cecil (11 months) were at Southwell Road, Carlton although by 1891 they were living on Main Street, Carlton, and had six children; Mary (12), Cecil (10), Emma (8), Lucy (6), Alfred (4) and William (1). In 1901 the family was living at 27 Dawson Street, Nottingham. Alfred and Mary now had eight children; Mary, Cecil (20) described as 'sailor seas', Emma (18) a brass bobbin winder (lace), Lucy (16) a slip winder (lace), Alfred, William, Ernest (9) and Edith (6). Alfred and Mary had moved again by 1911 and were living at 78 Trent Boulevard, Sneinton. Seven children were still at home; Mary (32), who was helping in the home, Lucy (26) who was still working as a lace hand, Alfred (24) a carter for a coal merchant, William (21) a carter, Ernest (19) also a carter for a coal merchant, Edith (16) who was a lace hand and the youngest child, Elsie May (10) who was at school. Alfred was described on the census as a journeyman baker but at the time of his death in 1919 he was a carting contractor. The second daughter, Emma, was now married to William Knight and in 1911 they were living at 3 Robey Terrace, St Paul's Avenue, Nottingham; Emma was still working as a brass bobbin winder. It appears that she died in 1918 at the age of 35. Cecil had married Ada Humphreys in 1904 and in 1911 they were living at 32 Crown Street, Carlton Road, Nottingham, with their two children, Albert (4) and Harry (2). His widow and children later lived at 278 Carlton Road. According to a newspaper report of Cecil's death in 1915 he and Ada had four children and records have been found of two children born after the 1911 census: Thomas Dale (1912, J/F/M) and Ada C Dale (1915, J/F/M); both records give the mother's maiden name as 'Humphreys'. Cecil's sister, Lucy, married George W Cryer in 1915. His brother Ernest served in the Machine Gun Corps (81291 Private), enlisting in 18 January 1916 when he was 24 years old. He served in France from 29 January 1917 and was demobilized on 17 October 1919 to his parent's home at 78 Trent Boulevard, Sneinton. He died in 1967 aged 75. Cecil's father died on 13 December 1919 and his mother in 1929 at the age of 74.
The RND record shows that Cecil enlisted in 1899 and on the 1901 Census he was described as a 'sailor, sea', although he was in the family home on the night of the census. By 1911 was employed as a drayman for a hay and corn merchant. The RND record describes his occupation as a turner although this might have been his employment in 1899 rather than his civilian occupation at the outbreak of war.
21 Sep 1915
2750405 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Cecil was in the Royal Fleet Reserve and was mobilized at the outbreak of war. He served from 17 September 1914 in Hood Bn, Royal Naval Division (RFR/CH/B/1983.Ch); CWGC lists him in the 2nd Reserve Bn. According to a newspaper report of his death, Cecil was in action at Antwerp and later served in the Dardanelles. The RND record shows that he suffered a bullet wound to the left thumb in June 1915; a newspaper report also mentioned that he had contracted malaria while serving in the Dardanelles. Cecil appears to have been evacuated initially to a hospital in Malta but was then invalided to the UK on 21 June 1915. He was admitted to Plymouth Hospital on 7 July 1915 but transferred to Haslar Hospital (RN) on 12 August 1915. Although there is a note on his RND record 'RUN date unknown' ie deserted, Cecil seems to have been on convalescent leave at the time of his death. He committed suicide while staying at Markheaton Hall near Derby and was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery (D. Allotment. 125.04235). The inquest recorded a verdict of 'Suicide while temporarily insane'. Cecil qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Personal inscription on CWGC headstone: 'For King and country for loved ones home and Empire' Nottingham Evening Post, 1915: 'SAILOR’S SUICIDE. NOTTINGHAM CONVALESCENT’S ACT AT DERBY. 'A Nottingham member of a party of sailor convalescents, who are being entertained at Markeaton Hall near Derby, by Mrs Mundy, committed suicide in a determined manner this morning. Gilbert Booth, a private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, was walking in the park attached to the Hall, when he found Charles (sic) M Dale lying on the bank of the brook which runs through the grounds with his clothing saturated with water, and a deep cut in his throat. The man had lost a quantity of blood, and was unconscious. He was removed in the borough ambulance van to the Royal Infirmary, where he died within a quarter of an hour of his admission. Deceased’s home address is given as Crown-street, Carlton-road, Nottingham, and he was apparently a stoker in the Royal Fleet Reserve. He was 30 (sic) years of age.' Extract from the ‘Nottingham Evening Post’, dated 22nd September 1915. “CONVALESCENT HOME TRAGEDY. “NOTTINGHAM NAVAL STOKER’S SUICIDE. “The suicide of a Nottingham naval stoker proved, on investigation by the Derby Deputy Coroner (Mr. J. W. Holbrook) this morning [22nd September 1915], to be one of the minor tragedies of the war. “The deceased, Cecil Myers Dale, 35, of 32, Crown-street, Carlton-road, was called up as a member of the Royal Fleet Reserve at the outbreak of the war, and was sent first to Antwerp, and then a few months ago, to the Dardanelles. There he was wounded in the hand, and contracted malarial fever. After being in hospital at Malta he came home for 28 days’ leave. “Early in August he reported himself at the naval encampment at Blandford, Dorset, and on September 14th he was received at Markeaton Hall, near Derby, as one of a number of convalescent sailors whom Mrs. Mundy is entertaining there. About seven o’clock on Tuesday morning he went out saying he was going for a walk before breakfast. As he did not return search was made for him, and he was found lying unconscious on the bank of the brook running through the hall grounds, with a severe wound in his throat and his clothes saturated with water. There was an empty razor case nearby, and a track of blood indicated that he had first cut his throat and then walked into the water, afterwards struggling out. He was attended by Dr. Lochrane and then removed to the Derby Infirmary, where he died shortly afterwards. “The widow [Ada], who is left with four children, told the jury that when deceased was home in June he seemed very weak and unstrung through the war. She saw him at Markeaton Hall on Sunday, when he was strange in his manner, and apparently suffering from loss of memory. He told her that his head was “empty.” “Gilbert Booth, of the Royal Marines, one of the inmates of the hall, said deceased, who spent a lot of time with him, complained of pains in the head and brooded a great deal over the fate of a mate, who was killed at the Dardanelles. “Dr. G. Dyke, of the infirmary staff, expressed the opinion that the fits of depression from which deceased suffered were due rather to the impression created by sights he had witnessed while on active service than to the effects of malarial fever. “The jury returned a verdict of “Suicide while temporarily insane.” Above extract courtesy of Jim Grundy and facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 22 September 1916: ‘Dale. In loving memory of Cecil Myers Dale, Royal Naval Division, died September 21st, 1915. The loss is great, we’ll not complain, but hope to meet in Heaven again. Duty nobly done. Wife and children.’ Probate: Dale Alfred Thomas of 78 Trent-road Sneinton Nottinghamshire carting contractor died 13 December 1919 Probate Nottingham 10 February to Mary Lydia Dale widow. Effects £468 10s. 6d.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Cecil Myers Dale in the General Cemetery, Nottingham
Courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Cecil Myers Dale - Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking the grave of Cecil Myers Dale in the General Cemetery, Nottingham Courtesy of Peter Gillings