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Person Details
19 Nov 1892
According to 'In Memoriam' notices published in the local paper, William had sisters and brothers Edwin, Tom, Henry and Arthur. The family has not yet been traced on the 1911 or earlier Census. However, William's service record gives the name of his mother as Mary Ann Dilks who lived at 67 Randolph Street, Nottingham. William married Harriet Weston in 1911 (J/F/M Nottingham) and had one child, Gladys M [May] whose birth was registered in 1914 (J/F/M Nottingham). His service record gives his home address as 6 Fairholm Terrace, Storer Street, Nottingham, although one of the notices in the paper gives his family's address of 67 Randolph Street. The notices placed by the family in 1917 and 1918 do not mention his wife but only his daughter (1918). William's daughter, Gladys, may have married William Wealthall in 1933 (J/A/S Nottingham). William Wealthall, b. 1912 J/A/S Nottingham, mother's maiden name Goldsbury. William served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (6983140 Fusilier) and died in Burma on 22 April 1942. It appears that Gladys remarried in 1945 (O/N/D Nottingham) - Wealthall to John H Morley - and there is a record of the death of a Gladys May Morley, b, 14 February 1914, died 2001 (April East Retford).
According to his service record he was a hosiery manufacturer.
13 Nov 1916
2853489 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
Howe Bn Royal Naval Division
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. William enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers on 2 September 1914 but transferred to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Howe Battalion) on 7 September the same year. He suffered a bullet wound to the right shoulder in 1915 (possibly May), propbably while serving in Gallipoli, and did not rejoin his battalion until 15 August 1915. He was killed in action on 13 November 1916 and is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel (grave reference: IV C 48). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. The Battle of Beaucourt ‘In 1916, the Royal Naval Division and its sailors and marines was incorporated in the 63rd Division of the Land Army. Since the start of the Battle of the Somme, the front had been deadlocked near Beaumont-Hamel on the left shore of the Ancre River. The rain had turned the battlefield into a mud-bath: Mud prevented any movement. Particularly the area along the Ancre had been turned into a morass. Nonetheless, an attack was launched on Monday 13 November after a dry spell of a few days. Of the Royal Naval Divison the 188th and 189th Brigades, those containing the marines and the sailors, attacked along the left shore of the Ancre. The 152nd and 153rd Brigades of the Scottish 51st Highland Division operated to their left - the sailors next to the Celts. Of the 188th Brigade, Howe-battalion and the first battalion of marines had to launch the attack, with the Anson battalion and the second battalion of marines in the second line. Of the 189th Brigade, the Hood and Hawke battalions launched the attack, with the two other battalions (Nelson and Drake) in the second wave. The assault began in the dark at 5.45 a.m., with a successful artillery barrage on the German frontline. This was stormed and taken with heavy losses, with the extensive network of German trenches causing confusion and chaos in the forward march. Nonetheless, progress was made and Beaucourt Station was reached. Hawke battalion was put under heavy machine gun fire and took 400 casualties. By the end of the day, it had virtually ceased to exist. Re-enforcements of the 190th Army Brigade were sent to the front. The next day, the assault was continued from the station by the 190th Brigade and the combined remnants of the other brigades. The village of Beaucourt was subsequently taken at 10.30 a.m. By the end of the day, the eastern side of the village could be consolidated. The Royal Naval Division had shown what it was worth, at the cost of heavy losses. There were 4,000 casualties, of which 1,600 fell during the assault on November 13th and 14th. ‘ Courtesy of Eric R J Wils http://www.wereldoorlog1418.nl/RND-Royal-Naval-Division/index.html
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 13th November 1917: 'Dilks. In loving memory of Able Seaman W. Dilks, killed in action November 13th, 1916. He will never be forgotten, never will his memory fade; loving thoughts will always wander to the place where he is laid. – From loving mother, father, sisters, brothers Edwin, Tom, Henry, Arthur (with the colours), grandma and grandfather.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 13 November 1918: ‘Dilks. In loving memory of W Dilks, Able Seaman, of 67 Randolph-street, killed in action November 13th 1918. A loving son, a brother kind, beautiful memories left behind; for King and country he did his best, grant him O Lord, eternal rest. From his sorrowing mother, father, daughter Gladys, sisters, brothers, grandmother.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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