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William Waterstone Dick

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium

12568 Private

9th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, 20th Infantry Brigade, 7th Division

Age: 30

Date of Death: 26.10.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Cemetery LII.E.11

Family history: Son of John and Marion Dick, 34 Redbrae Terrace, Camelon. Prior to enlisting, he enlisted in Birmingham, in September 1914, he was employed as a moulder at Wright’s Foundry, Birmingham. He went to France on 27 July 1915. He was wounded in September 1916 and again in May 1917.

Action leading to his death

On the morning of the 26 October the Battalion was to attack Gheluvelt on a front of 200 yards with the its right resting on the Menin Road. The 2nd Battalion Border Regiment and the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders were on their right with 5th Division on the immediate left who were attacking Polderhoek Chateau. The 8th Devons were to pass through the 9th Battalion when the objective had been achieved. Zero hour was 5.40am. When the British barrage opened the Germans replied immediately laying down fire in what looked like three barrage lines, one in the 9th Devons front line forming up area, one behind the Battalion HQ, and a third in the rear area. In addition machine guns had been firing intermittently from Lewis House and Polderhoek Chateau. The battalion had taken 15 prisoners and the advance appeared to be going well however, the 8th Devons reported that the right flank was exposed and that no attacks were taking place against the pill boxes on the Menin Road. This meant that the Germans firing from Lewis House had held up the British right and were now enfilading the troops on the left.

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
Linesman Map

The 9th Devons were now exposed to attacks on both flanks and had to withdraw. In addition, the mud and water had clogged their Lewis Guns and rifles. At 8am the enemy were seen to be working around the flanks of the battalion from Gheluvelt and the battalion, along with the other battalions in the 20th Brigade, withdrew to their original trenches. Here the 20th Brigade reorganized and consolidated their trenches and a right defensive flank was formed along the Menin Road. At dusk the battalion was relieved by the Royal Welch Fusiliers and went into billets at Scottish Wood.

Williams body was recovered after the war and exhumed and reburied at Tyne Cot Cemetery on 12 November 1920. His body was identified from clothing, AB 64 (his pay book) and identity disc.

Medals Awarded:

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

WW1 - The Ypres  Salient Battlefields, Belgium

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