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Surname: DAWSON

Forename(s): Willie

Place of Birth: Goole, Yorkshire

Service No: 12513

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 8th (Service) Battalion

Division: 11th (Northern) Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1916-09-29

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6A and 6B.

CWGC Cemetery: ---


Non-CWGC Burial: ---


Additional Information:

Willie Dawson was the son of Thomas and Martha Ann Dawson, née Denton. Thomas was born at Batley and Martha at Dewsbury, Yorkshire. Willie's brother, L/Cpl Charles Dawson, S/25497, 5th (Service) Bn Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders was killed in action 12 October 1917.

1891 Goole, Yorkshire Census: 46, Weatherill Street - Willie Dawson, aged 3 years, born Goole, son of Thomas and Martha Ann Dawson.

1901 Harrogate, Yorkshire Census: Christiana Street - William Dawson, aged 13 years, born Goole, Yorkshire, son of Thomas and Martha A. Dawson.

1911 Goole, Yorkshire Census: 47, Adeline Street - Willie Dawson, aged 23 years, born Goole, son of Thomas and Martha Ann Dawson.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte W. Dawson, 3/12593 [sic], W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: (2B) Balkans. Date of entry therein: 7.7.15. Died 29.9.16.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte William Dawson, 12513, W. Rid. R. Pres. Dead. 29.9.16.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte W. Dawson, 3/12593 [sic], West Riding Regiment. Date of Disembarkation: 7.7.15. (2B) [Balkans]. Died 29.9.16.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte William Dawson, 12513, 8 W. Rid. R. Pres. Dead 29.9.16.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte William Dawson, 12513, 8th Bn W. Riding. Date and Place of Death: 29/30.9.16 on or since death presumed. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother - Martha. £23 11s. 8d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: joint card(s) exist for William and Charles. Name(s) on card(s): Name of Dependant: Mrs Martha A. Dawson. (Deceased). Relationship to Man: Mother. Address: 45, Adeline Street, Goole, Yorks.

Willie is commemorated on the Goole War Memorial.

Data Source: Local War Memorial


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


No photo available for this Soldier
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 11th (Northern) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 11th (Northern) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: DAWSON

Forename(s): William

Born: Goole

Residence: Goole

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 12513

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 8th Battalion


Died Date: 29/09/16

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: DAWSON

Forename(s): Willie

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 12513

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 8th Bn.



Died Date: 29/09/1916

Additional Information: Brother of James Dawson, of 29, Tennyson St., Goole, Yorks.




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17 September 1915


Barnoldswick Soldiers’ Graphic Stories of the Landing

How the 8th Duke of Wellington’s Was Shattered

Writing to the Editor of this journal from ‘Sunnyside Dug-out,’ on the Gallipoli Peninsula, John Wm. Smith and Wm. Dawson, of the 8th Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, say:–

While reading lines in your paper each week we thought we would like to drop a few lines of our experience on our landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. We landed on the 7th of August to effect a new landing about 15 miles up the coast from Achi Baba. We had a hearty reception from the Turks in the way of shrapnel, machine gun and rifle shot. After landing we formed up and commenced our advance about11-30 p.m. We advanced something like 2,000 yards over uneven ground, when we were faced with a hail of bullets. From whence they came we did not know. But after going across the open in short rushes we came to a small hill which was evidently occupied by the Turks. We made a charge upon it, and got them cleared out after losing many men, both killed and wounded. We then made our attack further inland towards the hills, which proved also to be well set with the enemy. We again had to suffer somewhat owing to the conditions of the ground under which we were advancing. However, we got through a good deal of rifle fire over there, but our only cause for grumble was that we could not see where those Turks were, nor could we get at them. Well, we were all very hungry, so we were relieved to go back for the night to the beach.

Early next morning after a night’s rest, we set out again to face the Turks. We got to our position on Sunday night, ready for an attack early on the Monday morning. When the day was breaking we all got orders to stand to. Then we started our move towards the enemy’s position, which was about 700 yards from our own. We got on about 200 yards fairly well, and then had to make the 300 yards in rushes under a heavy shower of lead. We rushed up to cover about 200 yards from the Turks, after having a few losses. We then started to give them a taste of English lead, and all at once there came an order to retire from some other regiment, which put a little panic amongst some of the men. However, we had to retire on a small farm, which was held by a few of us who were left behind after the retreat.

The retreat would not have happened at all if we could have got reinforcements up in time. However, we held our ground till reinforcements arrived, then advanced again, and after very hard and fierce fighting took hold of a lot of ground. This is where we had heavy losses, and where our colonel and several more officers fell. After this hard fighting we were relieved and went into reserve trenches for a brief and well-earned rest. The next great attack of importance was on Saturday, August 20th, when after a big bombardment we again attacked another great Turkish position. Our regiment was then composed of about 470 men and officers. We advanced in artillery formation for a while, and we were steadily losing men until we extended and made a rush for the front line of trenches. Out of these again into the open we advanced in short rushes, trying to get at the Turks with the bayonet, but they kept retreating until they got a strong position on the hills. Then we got the lead from their machine guns and rifles, which cost us a lot of men. Our brigade was called in at night after we had forced our way over more ground and driven them further back. After this big attack we had another awful roll call, and are deeply touched by the loss of so many comrades. It was in this last general attack that Hartley Dent, one of our stretcher-bearers, who also comes from Barnoldswick, lost his life. The Barnoldswick lads out here have done their share well with the rest, and all we have seen seem to be keeping up a high spirit of hope to get back to a good dinner at Christmas with the folks at home.

We are two lads from Barnoldswick, and thought we might be able to give a little account as to how the 8th Battalion lost nearly all her men in twenty-one days’ fighting. We have about 300 men left out of what I think was 1,100 strong when we set out, so you will fully agree that our time has not been spent in a sort of ‘picnic’ style of fighting… We hope you will use this letter as you wish, as it is our first opportunity of dropping a line to the local paper which we receive regular from home. We are all short of cigarettes out here, and matches as well; any sort would do us chaps. We have to make cigarettes out of tea leaves and letters we receive from home. Well, here is “good luck” to all our friends at home and every good wish for your valuable paper, from which we get our news of home. We conclude in the best of health, and hope to hear of an early peace.

[We thank our correspondents for their letter which, we feel sure, will be read with interest by their friends at home. It may interest them to learn that our former representative at Barnoldswick, Mr. A.L. Bawden, to whom this letter was addressed, is ‘doing his bit’ with the Y.M.C.A. at the Front, – Editor, ‘Pioneer.’]

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