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Person Details
William Henry was the son of Mrs Donovan of St Ann's Well Road, Nottingham (CWGC). Records for Mary Ann Donovan suggest that she might have been married four times: Doyle, Atkin, Freeman and Donovan, although only a record of a marriage to Donovan has so far been found. Her son William Henry Doyle was born in 1888 (birth registered A/M/J Nottingham), according to the 1911 census he was born at 10 Red Lion Street, Nottingham. Mary Ann had a second son, Walter Arthur Atkin, in 1890 (birth registered O/N/D Nottingham), according to the 1911 census he was born on Sussex Street, Nottingham. In 1901 Mary Ann Freeman (44, b. Water Lane, Newark), a lace dresser, was living at 29 Byron Street, Sneinton, the wife of Edward Freeman (42, b. Carlton Road, Nottingham), a bobbin and carriage maker. In the household were William Doyle (13) and Walter A Atkin (11), described as Edward's stepsons, and his sons Jim Freeman (6) and John Henry Freeman (2). Assuming Mary and Edward were married (there is a record of a marriage between a Mary Ann Atkin and an Edwin (sic) Freeman in 1894, O/N/D Nottingham), he must have died sometime after the census and before the autumn of 1903 as Mary Ann married John Donovan in 1903 (marriage registered O/N/D Nottingham). However, John Donovan died some seven years later aged 56 (death registered 1910 J/F/M Nottingham). In 1911 the widowed Mary Ann (53), a lace dresser, was living at 8 Rose Yard, Bellar Gate, Nottingham. Also in the household were Walter Arthur (21), a lace dresser, James (16), a plumber and John Henry (12). All three boys were listed with the surname 'Donovan'. Mary Ann had included her eldest son, William Henry, in the household, again under the surname 'Donovan', although he was now married and living next door to his mother. Mary Ann completed the census with the information that she had had four children born alive, four of whom were still living but also that she had had one child who had died. The number of children still living confirms that she was the mother of the four boys: William (Doyle), Walter (Atkin), James (Freeman) and John (Freeman). William had married Bertha James (b. Ruddington) in 1909 (marriage registered in J/A/S Nottingham) and in 1911 they were living at 6 Rose Yard, Bellar Gate, Nottingham, with their first child, John George (9 months), who had been born the year after their marriage (birth registered J/A/S 1910). William was a lace dresser and Bertha was working from home as a lace hand. John George died aged one year in 1911 (death registered J/A/S). However, William and Bertha were to have two more sons; William Henry (b. 13 February 1912, registered J/F/M) and James (b. 24 April 1913, registered A/M/J). Bertha died aged 27 in 1913 (death registered A/M/J Nottingham) and in 1915 William married Norah Mozley (marriage registered O/N/D Nottingham). In 1911 Norah (15), a box maker, had been living at 15 Storer Terrace, Storer Street, Nottingham, with her widowed mother Elizabeth Mozeley (34) and five of her six surviving siblings. William and Norah had one son, Frank Walpole (b. 12 April 1917, birth registered A/M/J). The notice of William's death placed in the local paper in 1916 gave their address as 'late of 25 Martin Street, St Ann's Well Road.' After William's death Norah married Arthur W Shipstone (marriage registered A/M/J 1919). She died aged 29 in 1925 (buried 3 June 1925). The CWGC record shows that at the time the information was compiled she was living at 38 Cambridge Street, Dennison Street, Radford. Of William's sons, William Henry, married Nellie Lyons in 1934 and they had a daughter, Olive, the following year (birth registered 1935 J/A/S). He died aged 69 in 1981 while his brother James died in 1988 aged 75. The boys' half-brother, Frank Walpole, married Linda Taylor in 1946 and died aged 75 in 1992 (death registered July Nottingham). William's half-brother, Walter Arthur Atkin, served with the 15th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (23520 Private) and was killed in action on 15 July 1916, less than four months before William's death the following November (Caterpillar Valley Cemetery). Walter had married Mabel Ferguson in 1912 and they had a daughter, Mabel, in 1915. Mary Ann may have married again as there is a record of a Mary A Donovan marrying a William Julian in 1923 (marriage registered O/N/D Nottingham). There is a record of a Mary A Julian, born about 1856, who died in 1929 aged 73 (death registered Dec Nottingham).
In 1911 he was a lace dresser
02 Nov 1916
588780 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Nottingham
Formerly 2431 Private 1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby). He is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Pozieres British Cemetery Grave Reference: V T 30 Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 21 November 1916. 'Doyle. Killed in action November 2nd, Private WH Doyle, Royal Warwickshire, late of 25 Martin Street, St Ann's Well Road, age 27 (sic). Wife and two (sic) children.' His widow, Norah, was his sole legatee.
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