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Remembered Today:

Private Edward Dakin 1914-18


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FROGSMILE
2 hours ago, Bev Haworth said:

@FROGSMILE .. I’ve just noticed the wonderful pictures showing what he would have looked like with that enormous gun ..,Thank You so much for that .., BEVX

I’m glad to help Bev, the Lewis Gunners were important in the infantry, as they provided integral firepower under the cover of which troops could advance because unlike the medium machine gun (Vickers) it could be carried by one man (although others were needed to carry extra ammunition).  If you enjoy reading, I can recommend the biography of Harry Patch, as it gives a little detail of what a Lewis Gunner’s life was like.

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FROGSMILE
2 minutes ago, Allan1892 said:

I have searched the newspapers available online and apart from the Edward Dakin that joined the Royal Engineers, the only other one that I found with a military connection was a 2nd Lieutenant Edward Dakin from Matlock, Derbyshire.

Thanks Allan.  It seems a pity if we can’t definitively track this man down given the detail that we have. 

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Focusing on 60546 Cheshire Regiment Edward Dakin and looking at men with nearby service numbers brings up:-

 

60540 No MiC match at the National Archive, (NA), or surviving service records.

 

60541 John Thomas Cartwright. No surviving service record. Killed in Action 27th March 1918 in France serving with the 15th Battalion, aged 19. Additional family info on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, (CWGC), “Son of J. and Priscilla Cartwright, of 2, Waters Upton, Wellington, Salop.”

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1578520/JOHN THOMAS CARTWRIGHT/

Soldiers Died in the Great War adds enlisted Wellington, Salop. Doesn’t give any details about former units.

His father would write to the International Committee of the Red Cross, (ICRC), from 35, Waters Upton, Wellington, Salop, asking if they had received information about his son, serving with “Z” Company, Cheshire Regiment and who had been missing in France since the 27th March 1918. Sadly the ICRC would have to reply on the 14th June 1918 that they had heard nothing from the German authorities.

The amount of his War Gratuity, (available on his entry on the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, on Ancestry), can be used to roughly calculate date of enlistment.

 

60542 No MiC match at the NA or surviving service records.

 

60543 No MiC match at the NA or surviving service records.

 

60544 Jack Dawson has a Silver War Badge Roll entry. Enlisted 4th July 1916 and discharged from the Depot on the 5th March 1918 in compliance with Army Order 265 Paragraph 2 B.1. He had served overseas and was 19 at the time of his discharge. No surviving service record. (4th July 1916 may be the date he was deemed under the Military Services Act of 1916 to be liable for service. He could have been mobilised later.)

 

60545 Robert Dootson. FindMyPast have a Medical Admission record for him on the 26th April 1918 to the 14th Field Ambulance in France as a result of Eneny Gas Shell Poisoning. Serving then with the 1st Cheshires, he was aged 19 and had been in the Army for a year and a half, and had spent 7 months overseas. No surviving service record.

 

60547 Edward Davies, subsequently 662243 Labour Corps. Surviving Discharge Records under his Labour Corps number.  He was originally medically examined and attested  at Manchester on the 7th June 1916 but was then sent home. His first Cheshire Regiment service number appears to be 13179. He was mobilised on the 19th February 1917 and was medically graded AIII. He was actually posted to the 51st Training Reserve Battalion on the 26th February 1917 and two days later the 60th Training Reserve Battalion. On the 18th July 1917 he was then posted to the 217th Infantry Battalion. On the 11th October 1917 he was sent as part of a general draft to France, arriving at 4 Infantry Base Depot the next day. From there  he was posted to the 11th Battalion Cheshire Regiment on the same day but actually joined up with the 1st Battalion in the field on the 15th October 1917. (The 11th could have been a typo or there was a change of plans!).  He was granted special leave to the UK for a month from mid-March 1918, which was extended several times, only ending when he reported sick and was admitted to the Derby War Hospital at Warrington. By the 9th June 1918 he was posted on to the strength of the Depot for pay, admin and disciplinary purposes while receiving medical treatment. On recovery he was posted to the Labour Corps for Agricultural work in the UK.

 

1398471743_EdwardDavies60547CheshireB103formsourcedFMP.jpg.1991b1a5a68eb5d76f6d87e1509376f6.jpg

Image courtesy FindMyPast

 

60548 Edward Dawson. No surviving service records. FMP have a medical admission record for him to 14 Field Ambulance on the 24th April 1918 as a result of enemy gas shell poisoning. He was serving in the 1st Battalion. He had been in the Army 14 months, of which 7 had been overseas. He was aged 19. Still serving with the 1st Battalion, he was Killed in Action in France on the 5th November 1918, aged 20.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/581998/EDWARD DAWSON/

According to SDGW he was born Leigh, Lancashire and enlisted Rochdale. Doesn’t give any details about former units.

The amount of his War Gratuity, (available on his entry on the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, on Ancestry), can be used to roughly calculate date of enlistment.

 

60549 Horace Dutton. No surviving service record.

 

60550 John Dodd. No surviving service records. FMP have a medical admission record for him to 14 Field Ambulance on the 15th March 1918 with I.C.T. Right Leg. He was then aged 19, had been in the Army 13 months and had been overseas 3 months.

 

60551 William Edwards. No surviving service record.

 

60552 Hedley Beely Evans. No surviving service records. CWGC has him as died in France on the 2nd September 1918 while serving with the 1st Battalion, aged 19. Additional info “Son of Frederick Evans, of 7, Chapel Lane, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.”

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/614391/H B EVANS/

SDGW records him as Killed in Action, born and enlisted Manchester. Doesn’t give any details about former units.

The amount of his War Gratuity, (available on his entry on the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, on Ancestry), can be used to roughly calculate date of enlistment.

 

60553 George Edward Francis. No surviving service record. Received the D.C.M. for service in France with the 1st Battalion. Gazetted 24/01/19.

 

60554 Willis Gregory. No surviving service record. FMP have a medical admission record to 14 Field Ambulance on the 24th April 1918 as a result of enemy gas shell poisoning. Serving with the 1st Battalion, he was aged 19, had been in the Army 1 year and overseas 6 months.

 

60555 Joseph Goodwin. No surviving service record.

 

60556 Ernest Gwynne, subsequently S12972 Army Ordnance Corps. No surviving service record.

 

So no smoking gun, (no pun intended) to say this Edward Dakin was the Heywood man, but looking at that selection the two things that stands out – the closeness of age where this can identified, and the relatively alphabetical order of the surnames, implying a bulk draft. Tentatively I would say a general draft from 217th Infantry Battalion via 4 I.B.D. to the 1st Cheshires. Subsequent woundings \ accidental injury \ ill-health may have seen some of them subsequently moved on to other units.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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FROGSMILE

That all sounds very logical and well thought through to me Peter.  I do think that on the balance of probabilities the Cheshire Regiment fellow is our man, and that he seems likely to have been with the 1st Battalion in 1918.

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Bev Haworth

Definitely not an officer and I doubt he was in the Engineers! I’m so grateful for all this help .. You need a certain amount of military and regimental

knowledge to get the research right! THANK YOU ALL XX

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FROGSMILE
5 minutes ago, helpjpl said:

 

Brilliant work JP.  It would be a bit of a coincidence to have another Dakin from Heywood with mention of shellfire and gallant actions in 1917.  Very intriguing!  I think you might've found him.

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1 hour ago, helpjpl said:

 

Unfortunately that article refers to Lance Corporal W. Dakin of the Manchester Regiment, father is Walter Dakin of 84 Aspinall Street, Heywood. When I was looking earlier there was also another Dakin of Heywood that was killed in action

 

I too tried the FMP newspapers link to BNA and while I could find probable mentions for father Oswald, (but not in the war years), I drew a blank with Edward.

 

Regards,

Peter

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9 hours ago, Bev Haworth said:

I know he was gassed and wounded a few times and ended up with lots of medals

 

Family legend has it that Edward Dakin from Heywood was gassed – which would imply he should turn up in a Casualty List somewhere.

 

And for the Edward Dakin who was service number 60546 in the Cheshire Regiment there is a tentative picture emerging that he was part of a cohort of young men, born 1897/98 who joined up with the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment in the field on the 15th October 1917.

 

If they were one and the same man, gassing could have happened at any point subsequently. However even within the group I looked at, three of them,  60545 Robert Dootson, 60548 Edward Dawson and 60554 Willis Gregory were admitted to 14 Field Ambulance with Enemy Gas Poisoning in the period 24th to 26th April 1918. The surrounding pages in the register had a number of other 1st Cheshire men.

 

I’d drawn a blank searching Casualty Lists via FMP for Dakin, and it was pretty much the same for those three – Dawson was on a sizable list of wounded of the Cheshire Regiment in October 1918, and then in December 1918 for his death.

 

I then tried looking for the men of the 1st Battalion who died on the 24th April.

CWGC lists six:-

20727 Brockbank, 65643 Harrison, 60572 Hummer, 40172 Lorenzoni, 18876 Nicklen and 25108 Wrigley all turn up as Killed in Action in the Daily List of June 7th 1918, (page 37 of Weekly Casualty List, June 11th, 1918.) But Dootson, Dawson & Gregory are not amongst the wounded listed on page 38, nor is there a separate section for those wounded by Gas. And of course there is no Dakin.

 

Dootson, Dawson and Gregory do however turn up among the Cheshire Regiment wounded in the Daily List of June 14th 1918 – along with 60556 E. Gwynne (Oldham). But no Dakin.

 

So a bit of dead end for now, and while I’ll put my thinking cap on, I’m hoping someone has a better mastery of the casualty lists than I do. Obviously if we can turn up an E. Dakin with next of kin living at Heywood serving with any unit that would be a big step forward.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Bev Haworth

@PRC.. @helpjpl.. @FROGSMILE.. @Allan1892  Thank you so much everyone .. the W Dakin in the other article is a second cousin Walter Dakin .. he and his brother were in a Manchester Regiment.. I connected with a living relative of theirs/mine yesterday ..that is what prompted me to try to find his records again after having given up before! 
Thank you all so much for your help .. I will piece together something from this to add to his notes .. 

ALL THE BEST .. BEV HXXXX

 

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FROGSMILE
2 hours ago, PRC said:

 

Unfortunately that article refers to Lance Corporal W. Dakin of the Manchester Regiment, father is Walter Dakin of 84 Aspinall Street, Heywood. When I was looking earlier there was also another Dakin of Heywood that was killed in action

 

I too tried the FMP newspapers link to BNA and while I could find probable mentions for father Oswald, (but not in the war years), I drew a blank with Edward.

 

Regards,

Peter

Thank you Peter, I should have realised it was too good to be true! 

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Bev H,

 

Sorry - tried a few more things but still drawing a blank.  If your Edward Dakin was the Cheshire Regiment man his gassing may not have been combat related - training accidents did happen. Those wouldn't appear in the official Casualty Lists, only those who were accidentally killed. Short of going through the Casualty Lists page by page, (ditto the Heywood Advertiser), it's currently a bit of a needle in a haystack. The Optical Character Recognition software used to produce the transcription shown on the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) site was hardly state of the art and mainly produces gibberish - witness the screenshot attached by @helpjpl

 

Accessing the BNA directly may help - I find the search engine more flexible than going via the likes of FindMyPast. There is also the facility to suggest corrections, which I suspect are shown on BNA but aren't reflected on FindMyPast. Some kind soul may have made the correction that will allow you to track down the Dakin you are looking for.

 

The other approach is the Absent Voter Lists for 1918 & 1919. The 1918 Representation of the People Act is nowadays more famous for extending the vote to some woman, but its main impact at the time was extending the vote to all males over 21 and those in the armed forces over 18. Because a large portion of those were likely to absent from home in the armed forces. the Absent Voters List captured details of which unit they were serving with. The 1918 one had to be hastily put together, and mainly came from information supplied by other members of the household.  There is a bit more on how this can help here:-

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/finding-soldiers-through-the-1918-absent-voters-lists/

Unfortunately I've been unable to track down where the ones for Heywood would be. It might be worthwhile contacting the County Archive.

https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-record-office/

 

Good luck with your search,

Peter

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Bev Haworth

Thank you so much @PRC.. for all this info .. just a question .. I was wondering if young men enlisted under a fake name .. I never saw his medals .. and mum can’t remember what they were.. I just knew about them from family talking .. I will take what info I have and keep

up the search in depth when time allows! What an amazing amount of knowledge you all have abs so generous of you to share! THANK TOU AGAIN .. TAKE CARE .. BIG HUGS BEVXXX PS Uncle Teddy would be delighted that he’s being discussed .. he was a handsome chap 🥰 see below and I’m his only living relative that has any interest!! 

ECEBF2DE-D987-4AED-8D8C-98B5E922BC4D.jpeg

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FROGSMILE

Good luck with your search Bev.  We seemed so close, but confirmation of his unit is just out of sight at the moment.  The absent voters list seems a good next step to drill down into as Peter has said.  Certainly from what’s been dug up so far the Cheshire men seems favourite, but it needs corroboration.

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George Rayner

Sorry having joined late and read through I don't think there is mention of these two records from FMP for Dakin 60546

1917 admitted to hospital with trench feet

1918 admitted with GSW to left arm

I won't add references as I fear these are repetitions...but if not I'll append them

 

George

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2 hours ago, George Rayner said:

Sorry having joined late and read through I don't think there is mention of these two records from FMP for Dakin 60546

1917 admitted to hospital with trench feet

1918 admitted with GSW to left arm

I won't add references as I fear these are repetitions...but if not I'll append them

 

George

 

Sometimes I think the Internet just wants to play with my mind :). I tried various combinations on FindMyPast yesterday of search criteria Dakin, with optional keywords 60546, Cheshire all with and without E and Edward. All I was getting was two medal cards - the second is actually a duplicate of the first. Just tried the same thing again, no different. But try surname = Dakin and Soldier Number = 60546 and up pop the Medical Admission reports. Just before I go and lie down in a darkened room I did take a look, but the one bit of information that might have either ruled him out or taken us a stepforward - his age - is missing. The 1918 admission to the 14th Field Ambulance was on the 28th June 1918 - so somewhere out there he should appear on a Casualty List with a place name for next of kin.

 

Going through the rest of the days admissions, other 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment men admitted 28th June 1918 with combat injuries:-

 

14835 Pelling R GSW

20374 Dawson W, Shell Concussion

265185 Booth F GSW

49772 Floyd J GSW

50240 Dyke H GSW

53663 Whitehead F GSW

51325 Carter J GSW & Concussion

17908 Harrison W GSW

60596 McCall G (or S) GSW

7935 Jones J GSW

 

And with those names and service numbers it proved possible to find him in a Casualty List – only to see him recorded as Dakins and his next of kin stated to be living at Dalmuir.

 

456614596_CheshirewoundedDailyListfor26July1918inweeklylist30July1918page17sourcedFMP.png.ea4f67b913fba0d1024fafb9ca588b1b.png

(Image courtesy FindMyPast).

 

So sadly it's back to the drawing board. If he served under an assumed name then he may not even appear on the Absent Voters List, but that approach has to at least be worth a try.

 

Peter

 

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George Rayner

Thanks for the additional Peter-back to the question then!

 

George

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Bev Haworth

The plot thickened yet again! A relative said that Dakin is sometimes mistakenly spelled .. Daykin .. Deakin etc .. so that could be the case or he used an assumed name to mask his age and enlisted before he was 18 .. or maybe Teddy Dakin .. I haven’t checked that to be honest .. Ince again THANK YOU ALL!!! BEVX

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