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  • Buried in Montbrehain British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Sneinton Nottingham
William Charles was the third son of William Henry and Mary Ann Daft (née Bradley). His father William Henry Daft was born in Nottingham in 1858 and his mother Mary Ann Bradley also in Nottingham in 1858. They were married at Nottingham St Peter on 18 February 1877 and had eleven children, all born in Nottingham: Sarah Ann b. 1877, Elizabeth b. 1879, George b. 1881, Hannah birth registered 1884 (J/F/M), Arthur b. 1886, William Charles birth registered 1889 (J/F/M), Henry b. 9 February 1891, Albert birth registered 1893 (J/F/M), Emma b. 1895, Lily birth registered 1897 (J/F/M) and May b. 1899. In 1881 William, a boiler maker, and Mary were living on Paradise Street, Nottingham, with their daughters Elizabeth (3) and Sarah (1). Ten years later they and their seven children - Sarah, Elizabeth, George (9), Hannah (7), Arthur (4), William (2) and Henry (under 1 year) - were at Ashley Street, Nottingham. The family had moved to 10 Shaftsbury Street, Nottingham, by 1901; all but Sarah and George, were living at home: Elizabeth a hosiery machinist, Hannah a silk machinist, Arthur a dray boy, William, Henry, Albert (8) and Emma (6) who were at school, Lily (4) and May (1). Sarah had married Ernest Haywood in 1897 and they were living on Hawksworth Street, Nottingham with their children William Frederick and George, an adopted child Constance Walker, and Sarah's brother George. William jnr. joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1906 giving his address as 10 Shaftsbury Street, He was discharged by purchase on 15 April 1910. (See 'Military history') In 1911 William snr, now a machine smith's assistant, and Mary were at 2 Shaftsbury Street with their children Arthur a lace dresser, Emma and Lily who were errand girls, May and also their married son William, a labourer, and his wife Ethel (née Swift) whom he had married in 1911 (J/F/M Nottingham). The youngest son, Albert, had joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 17 December 1910, giving his date of birth as 26 February 1892 (birth registered J/F/M 1893). In 1911 Albert was serving at the Royal Marine Depot at Walmer, Kent, but transferred to the Royal Navy the following year. William and Ethel had two children: William Henry b. 1911 and Ethel M b. 1913. The CWGC record gave Ethel's address as 9 Pleasant Place, Jenner Street, Carrington, Nottingham. William's mother Mary Ann died on 3 March 1917 and his father William Henry on 12 March 1925 at 51 Seymour Street, the home of one of his daughters, but prior to that had been living at 2 Shaftsbury Street. William's brother Albert served in the Royal Navy during the war. He had transferred from the RMLI, which he had joined in 1910, to the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class on 22 February 1912 and served until 18 June 1920 when he transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve (leading stoker). He was granted a free discharge on 13 June 1921. Their three other brothers may also have served in the war: George has not been positively identified in military records although there is a disability pension record for a George Daft, born Nottingham 1881, who served in the Royal Fusiliers (2397 Corporal Shoeing Smith). The Royal Fusiliers served mainly on the Western Front, apart from the 4th Battalion which was serving in Salonika in 1917. Arthur attested in December 1915; he was 29 years old, a carter and living with his parents at 2 Shaftsbury Street. He was posted to the Army Reserve and then to 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (235006) and mobilised in September 1916. He was not demobilized to the Army Reserve until October 1919 and returned to live at 2 Shaftsbury Street. His service record includes a letter (undated) asking for an extension of leave 'to see eldest brother who will arrive home from Mesopotamia for the first time during the whole period of the war', presumably referring to George. Arthur's service record also shows that he was charged with being absent on 1 July 1917 'when his company was in action against the enemy' and awarded 28 days Field Punishment No. 1, and although there are no other details, and George's service record has not survived, it is possible that Arthur overstayed his leave without permission. Arthur was demobilized from the army in 1919 and returned to the family home at 2 Shaftsbury Street. Henry probably served in the Sherwood Foresters (18214 Sergeant) from 29 October 1914, serving in France from 29 August 1915 to 28 June 1917 then returning to the UK for home service.
1906 - occupation painter. 1906 - enlisted in the Kings' Royal Rifle Corps, discharged 1910. 1911 - labourer.
03 Oct 1918
555949 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham
1/5th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment
1/5th Bn South Staffordshire Regiment formerly 42925 Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) William Charles enlisted in the King's Royal Rifle Corps (7148 Rifleman) on 2 July 1906 on a Short Service Engagement (9 years with the Colours, 3 years Reserve). He gave his age as 18 years 8 months, occupation painter. William named his parents of 10 Shaftsbury Street and brother George of Peas Hill Road as his next of kin. William joined at Winchester and served: Home 2 July 1906-12 February 1907, Egypt 13 February 1907-16 December 1907, India 17 December 1907-1 February 1910, Home 2 February 1910-15 April 1910. Total service 3 years 288 days. He was discharged on 15 April 1910 under para. 390 (xiv) King's Regulations on payment of £25. In the war, William served initially with the Sherwood Foresters (1916) then transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment. He was reported missing 'on or since' 3 October 1918 and his death was not confirmed until the following year. His body was recovered for burial and he is buried in Montbrehain British Cemetery, France (grave ref. A.53). CWGC - History of Montbrehain British Cemetery (extract): 'Montbrehain village was taken on the 3rd October, 1918, by three battalions of the Sherwood Foresters of the 46th Division, but it could not be held at the time; it was finally captured by the 21st and 24th Australian Infantry Battalions two days later. This cemetery contains the graves of 89 casualties of the First World War.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'A loving husband always remembered' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 2 March 1918: ‘Daft. In loving memory of our dear mother, Mary Ann Daft, died March 3rd, 1917. Not forgotten by her loving son Bill [William] and Ethel, children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 March 1919: ‘Daft. In affectionate remembrance of a loving wife and mother, Mary Ann Daft, who passed away March 3rd. 1917. A light is from our household gone, a (-) loved is stilled, a place is vacant on our hearth, which never can be filled. Husband, daughters Lily, May and Arthur (in France), Albert (at sea).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) 'In Memoriam' notices were also placed in the Nottingham Evening Post on 3 March 1919 by five of her children: (1) Emma [Scudder], husband [Lewis] and grandson Ronnie. (2) Harry {Henry], Sarah Ann, Elsie Mabel. (3) daughter (-), husband, and children [Sarah Ann and Ernest Haywood, William, George and Jane]. (4) daughter [Elizabeth Clements] son [son-in-law] Philip, grandchildren George and Cyril. (5) Son Will '(presumed missing)', Ethel and children. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 October 1919: ‘Daft. In fond remembrance of my dear husband, Lce. Cpl William C Daft, reported missing October 3rd, 1918, now presumed killed. I often sit and think of you when I am all alone, but memory is the only thing that grief can call its own. Sorrowing wife and two children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 October 1919: ‘Daft. In loving memory of Lce-Cpl WC Daft, killed October 3rd, 1918. There is a link death cannot sever, love and remembrance live for ever. Loving father, sisters, Emma Lily, May brothers Arthur, Albert, Lewis [Scudder, brother-in-law] and nephew Ronnie [Scudder].’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 October 1919: ‘Daft. In loving remembrance of my dear brother, Lce-Cpl WC Daft, reported missing October 3rd, 1918. now presumed killed on that date. Fond memories, like the ivy, cling. Sister Sally [Sarah], husband and children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 3 October 1919: ‘Daft. In loving memory of our dear brother, Lance-Col. WC Daft, reported killed October 3rd, 1918. Sadly missed. Harry [Henry], Sarah Ann and niece Elsie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow Ethel was his legatee WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: named widow Ethel and children William and Ethel.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Montbrehain British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    William Charles Daft - Buried in Montbrehain British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)