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Person Details
Beeston, Nottingham
He was the son of James and Charlotte Humphreys and the brother of Alice Mabel Humphreys. They lived at 4, Humber Road South, Beeston, Nottingham.
In 1911 he was a plain net bobbin stripper.
09 Aug 1915
692206 - CWGC Website
13883
Lance Corporal
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
William Dann Humphreys was killed in action on Gallipoli during the battalion's first attack. At 4.45 am on 9th August the battalion moved off in two long lines of two companies in each line. They advanced a 1000 yards before encountering heavy fire and suffering many casualties. By 8 am the advance began to stall but a good defensive line was taken up. This had cost the battalion 8 officers and 150 other rank casualties. William was one of the men who got so close to Hetman Chair but died a few feet short of the objective. Helles Memorial. Research by John Morse
On August 1st Dann Humphreys wrote, "I am still in fine fettle, I thought of Cromer today, when I went for a bath in the sea. 'The last BB Camp was in Cromer it will be remembered. It was fine after being ten days in the trenches. Please send next parcel stronger than cardboard as they get bashed about so much. A Spencer had ten packets of cigarettes sent from the Greyhound but only five reached him. I have been among the Singalese this afternoon in one of their dugouts, and we were comparing words for simple objects, but it proved to much for me. They start at the end of one word, and it is all like a jigsaw puzzle when they have finished with it. There are none of the female sex here - not a solitary one, and although I was in the firing line for three days and three nights I did not see more than three Turks, except dead ones, and they don’t count. We have French Singalese (Blacks), Gurks and Australians here.' Article published on 24th June 1916 in the Notts Local News :- Pte. John Stenson was a signaller in the 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment. On 9th August 1915 the Sherwood Foresters were given the task of advancing towards the 'W' Hills, across Hetman Chair at Suvla Bay. Unsure of their objective, the location or strength of the Turkish defenders, they quickly came under heavy fire. Suffering heavy casualties, they began to fall back in disorder. He described what happened in surprising detail in a letter home. "We left Frenshaw on June 30th, and arrived at Liverpool Docks next morning, when we set sail on the "Empress of Britain". Our first stop was at Malta, then Alexandria, next Lemnos Harbour, where we transhipped for Gallipoli. We landed at Cape Helles on July 21st, and we were in the trenches the same night facing the famous Atchi [Achi] Baba. I shall never forget the trenches there: it was like walking on a sponge, for they were full of dead and the stench was abominable. There were also dead on the parapet, and it was common to see hands and legs sticking out of the ground as one passed. Some of the bodies were merely covered with a bag and a layer of soil, which caused millions of flies to congregate. "When we made the memorable landing at Suvla Bay we were packed like herrings on lighters. But, except for a few bullets whizzing and occasionally striking the boat, there was very little to get excited about. Directly after jumping ashore, we extended out with fixed bayonets, and the order was given for no man to fire. We advanced inland some distance, and I saw one poor chap shot clean through the head. We then dug ourselves in till morning and stopped there all the next day. “It was afterwards stated we should have taken possession of the hills where so many lives were lost. On August 7th we advanced about a quarter of a mile with nothing doing, where we made a good trench and stayed there till next day. It was on August 9th when the next advance took place at sunrise, and I shall never forget running the wire for our last place. We were being popped at, and three of us had lucky escapes. By this time seven officers were out of action, and we went on until we came to the “first aid” dressing station. I think if ever my heart was in my mouth it was that day. The moans of the men were awful, for many were burnt to death where the grass had caught fire. “The signal officer took some men to reinforce A company, and it was about this time that Humphries, [1] Martin [2] and Turton [3] got killed. A corporal of the machine gun section, drunk and behaving in a mad manner, giving the position away, was promptly ordered to be shot by the officer, [4] and when a stretcher bearer got up to shoot him, he was shot himself. “Things were quiet the next two days, but the snipers were busy, and a shot undoubtedly meant for another man who was exposed struck me. I felt as if someone had given me a bang on the head, and I was knocked silly for the time being.” [5] [1] L/Cpl. William Dann Humpreys, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915. Having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. [2] L/Cpl James Martin, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915. The 20 year-old son of Mathew and Sarah Martin, of 30 Chapel Street, Beeston, Nottingham, is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. [3] Pte. Albert Edward Turton, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915 and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. He was the 19 year-old son of Herbert Turton, of 23 Middleton Street, Beeston, Nottingham. [4] Lieutenant, later Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Edward Scothern, C.M.G., D.S.O. The above article and information are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Nottingham Evening Post, 9 August 1916: ‘HUMPHREYS. In ever loving memory of our dear son, Lance-Corporal William Dann Humphreys, 9th Sherwood Foresters, killed in action at Suvla Bay, August 9th, 1915, aged 20 years. Some time, some day we’ll understand. Mam and dad.’ (Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 9 August 1916: ‘HUMPHREYS. To the memory of my dear and only brother Will (Dann), who was killed at Suvla Bay, August 9th 1915. In heaven, which is far better. Alice.' Nottingham Evening Post, 9 August 1916: ‘HUMPHREYS. In loving memory of dear Willie (Dann) killed at Suvla Bay. The unknown grave is the bitterest blow, none but aching hearts can know. Loving remembrance. From Aunt Sarah, Uncle Joe, Cousin Albert, and Uncle Robert.’ Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 9 August 1917: ‘Humphreys. In ever loving memory of our dear Dan, lance-corporal, Sherwoods, killed at Suvla Bay, August 9th, 1915. Also our dear nephew, Albert Dawn Oldham, died of fever abroad July 24th, 1917. Some day, some time, we’ll understand. Man, dad, sister.’
Remembered on

Photos

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  • Commemorated on the Helles Memorial. Photo courtesy of John Morse
    William Dann Humphreys - Commemorated on the Helles Memorial. Photo courtesy of John Morse
  • Photograph showing the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli where William Dann Humphreys is commemorated, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    William Dann Humphreys - Photograph showing the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli where William Dann Humphreys is commemorated, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Photograph of William Dann Humphreys is courtesy of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment roll of honour website.
    William Dann Humphreys - Photograph of William Dann Humphreys is courtesy of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment roll of honour website.