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danson1Alexander Danson was born in Kirkham in 1896 he was one of 17 children born to Richard and Sarah Danson (nee Stanhope). Richard and Sarah married in St. Michaels Church, Kirkham in 1893, Sarah was 18 years old at the time.

Richard and Sarah had 7 daughters and 9 surviving sons including Alexander. The other children were: John (1893), Arthur (1894), Elizabeth (1899), Louisa (1900), James (1903), Harold (1905-1905), Edith Ellen (1906), Hilda May (1907-1927)), Richard (1908), Janey (1909), Albert Edward (1910), Harold (1912), Frederick George (1915), Sarah (1916), Frank (1918-1934)) and finally Margaret (1919-1928).

When the 1911 Census was taken, Alexander was living in a five roomed house at 64 Preston Street, Kirkham with his parents and ten of his siblings. His father Richard was working as a labourer in a cotton mill and Alexander was employed as a cotton spinner.

On the 1September, 1914 Alexander joined the other recruits from Kirkham and marched to Preston to enlist, he was 19 years old. At his medical inspection it was noted that he was 5`6” tall, weighed 109lbs and had a 32” chest. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. Alexander named his father Richard as his next of kin.

At his enlistment Alexander was posted to the 7th Battalion and given the service number 12784 and then on the 23 September he was posted to the 6th Battalion.

While the Battalion were in training Alexander got himself into a bit of bother, first of all on 6 January, 1915 at Tidworth “overstaying his pass from 12 midnight till 8.30pm”, his punishment was confined to barracks for 3 days. A couple of months later at Blackdown he was found to be “dirty on parade” and he received 2 days confined to barracks.

Towards the end of May, 1915 Alexander spent five days in hospital suffering from “boils”.

On the 17 June, 1915 he boarded the “Braemar Castle” at Avonmouth with the rest of the 6th Battalion, they landed at Cape Helles on the night of the 6th July. Almost as soon as they landed the Battalion was sent up to the front line.

A few months later in November 1915 Alexander was sent back home to the Southern General Hospital in Bristol suffering from dysentery and jaundice. He spent thirty two days in hospital before finally being discharged on 17 December, 1915.

Alexander was then posted into the 3rd Battalion on 20 December, 1915. After three months additional training with the 3rd Battalion he embarked at Folkestone on 22 March, 1916 bound for France. He was posted to the 10th Battalion joining them in the field on 5 April.

The Battalion War Diary
“Draft of 137 N.C.O.`s and men joined for duty on 5/4/16”

Alexander was promoted to Lance Corporal on 17 July, 1916. On the 11 August he sustained a gunshot wound to his back and by the 28 August he was back in hospital at Etaples. He finally re-joined his Battalion on 14 September, 1916.

Further promotion followed, on the 25 November, 1916 he was promoted to Corporal and on the same date he was made an unpaid Lance Sergeant.

On the 11 April, 1917 during the Battle of Arras Alexander was wounded again with gunshot wounds to his face and hand. After recovering from his wounds he went back to join his Battalion on 3 June, 1917.

On the 27 September, 1917 Alexander was admitted to a Field Ambulance having been injured for the third time. Unfortunately this time he did not recover, he died on 30 September, 1917. The following information appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while later.

“The parents of Sergeant `Alick` Danson, Preston Street, Kirkham have been notified of the death in hospital at the front following the amputation of one of his legs and other injuries. Sergt. Danson was the youngest of three brothers who joined up early in the war and had shown great gallantry. He was mentioned recently in the list of honours having gained the Military Medal. Sergt. Danson was 21 years of age. His brother Arthur Danson was seriously wounded 18 months ago and is still in hospital in the South of England”.

Alexander`s personal possessions were returned to his family in Kirkham and these included:-

  • Letters/photos
  • Steel mirror
  • 1 Wallet
  • 1 Medal Ribbon
  • 1 Watchcase
  • Cards
  • Gollywog

Alexander was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals and he is buried with honour in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, Nord, France. His name is also recorded on the Kirkham War Memorial and family gravestone in St. Michael`s Church, Kirkham.




Additional family information:

danson3The newspaper article refers to 2 other brothers. The first was 17580 Pte. Arthur Danson, 9th Bn, Loyal North Lancs. Arthur was seriously wounded and subsequently discharged on 10 Dec. 1917. Unfortunately no service papers appear to have survived. Arthur married Amy Rose Gare in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1918.  Arthur died on 25 October, 1922 in the Ministry of Pensions Hospital in Liverpool. He is buried in the family grave in St. Michael`s Churchyard, Kirkham. His wife Amy passed away on 16 Sept. 1928 and is buried with him. His name also appears on the Kirkham War Memorial. Arthur received the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.


danson4The second brother was 17400 Private John Danson, 10th Battalion, Loyal North Lancs, and later 28776 East Surrey Regiment. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any service papers for John either. John Danson survived the War being transferred to the Reserve in February, 1919. John died in 1927 aged 34 years. He is also buried in the family grave in St. Michael`s. John received the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals for his service to his country.


Janet Davis
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One Response to 12784 LSJT. A. DANSON. L.N.LAN.R

  1. sarah parker says:

    Hello Janet. Alex Danson is my great Uncle (brother of my maternal grandmother) We knew of his war connections but not to this extent. Cant wait to show my mum.
    I have copies of letters he sent home from the war if they would be of interest to you.
    Kind regards, Sarah Parker

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