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Daniel (Dan) Dickinson was born in Croston, Lancashire, in the final quarter of 1894. His father was Richard Dickinson (b. 1860 in Walton Le Dale), a jeweller and watch and clock repairer. His mother was Elizabeth Mayor (b. 1863 in Much Hoole). Richard and Elizabeth were married in about 1887 and they had 5 children: Isabella (b. 1888), Thomas Mayor (b. 1890), then Dan, Albert (b. 1900) and finally Ethel (b. 1902). In 1911, the Dickinsons were living at 31 Station Road, Croston, but Dan, aged 16, was apprenticed as a watch repairer and living in Handsworth, Birmingham. When Dan enlisted on 14 September 1914 he gives his address as Station Road, Croston, although the newspaper article says he has set up business as a watch maker in Bamber Bridge.

The photo shows Dan, seated left, with fiancée Lilian Heath, probably in 1914. (Photo courtesy of Julie McKee.)

Dan enlisted with 1/4Bn, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, with service number 2565 and landed with them in France on 4 May 1915. On 9 July 1916, he was promoted to Lance Corporal and also at some stage given new-style service number 200626.

In May 1915, 1/4Bn came under orders of 154th Brigade in 51st (West Highland) Division and they fought with this Division at Festubert and Givenchy. On 7 January 1916, the Battalion transferred to 164th Brigade in 55th (West Lancashire) Division. 55th Division moved to The Somme at the end of July 1916 to take up position close to the villages of Guillemont and Ginchy.

From 1/4Bn War Diary:
9 September 1916 (at Delville Wood)
Heavy shelling all day by our artillery. D Coy was withdrawn from DELVILLE WOOD, and went in support. At 4pm the barrage started and at 4.45pm the Division on our right attacked. Our objective was to capture HOP ALLEY with B and C Coy (Dan was in C Coy), and the LANCS FUSILIERS were to go over us and capture ALE ALLEY. The Battalion assaulted at 5.25pm and by entering HOP ALLEY gained the first objective. The second ‘wave’ failed to reach ALE ALLEY, and HOP ALLEY, being heavily shelled and becoming untenable under intense machine gun barrage, was evacuated by B and C Coys and the original line was taken up in PILSEN LANE. Supporting Coys from the 1/8K.L.R and 1/4R.LANC.R. were sent up to strengthen the line and working parties were dispatched to consolidate the position. CASUALTIES: 2 officers killed and 8 wounded. Other ranks: 22 killed, 125 wounded, 79 missing. (See below for the final tally.)

In the map above, Hop Alley can be seen running from the south-eastern edge of Delville Wood. Pilsen Lane runs along the southern edge of the Wood. This is the road from Longueval to Ginchy.)

Dan was severely wounded in the leg during this fighting and evacuated to England two days later. He did not recover from his wounds and died of septic pneumonia seven months later on 7 April 1917 at 2nd Western General Hospital (Greenbank Hospital) in Bolton, surrounded by his family. He was 22 years old.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 200626
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Grave Reference: 548A.
Cemetery: CROSTON (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

Two drawings were among Dan’s papers. They may have been drawn by him or by one of his fellows (courtesy of Julie McKee).

Two officers and 53 other ranks from 1/4Bn were killed at Delville Wood on 9 September 1916.

2244 CPL ALBERT ASKEW
4000 PTE LAWRENCE BAINES
201720 PTE ELI BALL
3842 PTE JOHN CHARLES CHAPMAN
2575 LCPL JAMES CLOUGH
4873 PTE E G COSTELLO
200762 LCPL JOHN CRANE
6125 PTE WALTER LLOYD DOYNE
6273 PTE FRED DRAPER
6276 PTE H DUCKWORTH
4544 PTE FRED ECCLES
2nd LT EDWARD FREDERICK FALBY
4157 PTE WALTER FORD
202773 PTE T GIBSON
2246 PTE ALFRED GIDLOW
202803 PTE FRANK HARGREAVES
200235 CPL ALBERT HARTLEY
1618 CPL GEORGE WILLIAM HAWKESWORTH
201557 PTE HARRY HESMONDHALGH
202856 PTE SETH HEY
202891 PTE ARTHUR JOSIAH HINSLEY
201143 PTE WILLIAM HOLDEN
4890 PTE J H HOPE
6279 PTE JOHN ROBERT HOWARTH
4635 PTE FREDRICK WILLIAM DUNCAN HOWE
202762 LCPL HORACE INGLE
202859 PTE JAMES KIRK
202757 PTE A KNOTT
201473 PTE JOHN MARSDEN
2320 PTE JOHN MONCUR
202774 PTE ISAAC OGDEN
202739 PTE OLIVER ORMROD
1586 PTE WILLIAM PARK
202759 PTE ERNEST PINNER
202078 PTE ALEX PRESTON
4067 LCPL J PROCTER
2nd LT WILLIAM EDWARD PYKE
3819 LCPL WILLIAM ROBINSON
93 PTE THOMAS SEDGWICK
1663 SJT ARTHUR SEED
200227 CPL WALTER SHARPLES
1578 PTE JOHN SLATER
3052 PTE THOMAS ANDREW STRICKLAND
201817 PTE WILLIAM TAYLOR
201041 PTE SIDNEY THEXTON
202118 PTE R TODD
201788 PTE WILLIAM TURNER
202755 PTE JAMES ROBERT WALKDEN
1720 CSM T WAREING
202875 PTE THOMAS WHINNEY
202919 PTE DAVID HANNA WILLIAMS
200236 SJT MOYRAH CYRIL WILLIAMSON
201694 PTE JOSEPH WILSON
6312 PTE R WOOTTEN
8201 LSJT WILLIAM HENRY WRIGLEY

Bill Brierley

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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