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Person Details
William Dabell was the son of Charles and Emma Dabell (née Freeman). Charles Dabell snr. was born in 1863 at Nottingham. He married Emma Freeman, born 1861, at Nottingham in 1883. They lived at 10 Carey’s Yard, Coalpit Lane, Nottingham. According to the 1911 Census, they had thirteen children, eleven surviving infancy (listed 1891, 1901 and 1911): Emma b.1884, Charles b.1885 (killed in action 31/3/1917), Harriett b.1888, William b.1890, Rose b.1891, Florence b.1894, Thomas Edwin b.1896 (killed in action 1/7/1916), Francis b.1897, Alice b.1901 and Annie b.1906. In 1911, the family lived at 15, Taylor Street. Charles snr was a general hawker, Emma a lace hand, Florrie a lace clipper and Tom a bottle washer.
15 Sep 1916
758220 - CWGC Website
1/6th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers
William Dabell enlisted at Nottingham and served with 1/6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, 149th Brigade, 50th Division. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Flers-Coucelette a phase of the 1916 Somme campaign. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and face 10B 11B & 12B). On 15 September 50th Division took part in the third offensive on the Somme, its first set piece battle. With 150th brigade on the left and 149th on the right, the division was set objectives of German trenches (named Starfish and Prune) between Martinpuich and High Wood. With the aid of a creeping barrage and two tanks on the left flank, the assaulting battalions quickly gained the first objective. Most of the second line was also gained, but casualties to both brigades during the advance were much heavier due to flanking fire from Martinpuich and High Wood. The advance continued towards the third objective, with intermediate trenches being gained in the afternoon. That evening the 151st brigade was sent into battle for the final parts of the line but could make no progress. Over the next few days attacks were made which varied in their success, and with the relief of the 150th brigade by the 69th brigade of the 23rd Division, the 151st brigade was left in the line, in the increasingly wet weather, with, in places, two and a half feet of mud in the trenches. On 21 September the 149th brigade finally achieved the German lines that were the original third objective, after the Germans had withdrawn. The division had suffered 3,750 casualties of all ranks, by 24 September. 149th brigade had been withdrawn to Divisional reserve, 150th Brigade was in the line and the 151st in support.
Family research by Peter Gillings. Military research by David Nunn.
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