1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 15199 Charles Abell
- Age: 30
- From: Everton, Liverpool
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
- K.I.A Sunday 30th July 1916
- Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
His siblings were John, Alexander, Alfred (twin) and Annie. 3 other children sadly died in infancy; Thomas aged 3 was buried 5 days after his sister Elizabeth who was just 1 year old. Another sister Annie died aged 2.
The 1891 Census shows the family living at 33 Langdale Street, his father is employed as a Baker.
By 1901 the family are living at 16 College Street North and Charles now aged 15 is shown as a junior Clerk at an Oil Mill.
By 1911 living at the same address Charles, now 25 is employed as a Commercial Clerk with an Estate Agent.
He enlisted at St George's Hall in Liverpool and joined the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 15199.
He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.He was killed in action on the 30th July 1916 fighting at Guillemont in France during the Somme Offensive. He has no known grave and is commerorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
The events of 30th July 1916 were regarded at the time as Liverpool’s blackest day. There follows an extract from The History of the 89th Brigade written by Brigadier General Ferdinand Stanley which gives an indication of the events of the day.
Well the hour to advance came, and of all bad luck in the world it was a thick fog; so thick that you couldn’t see more than about ten yards. It was next to impossible to delay the attack – it was much too big an operation- so forward they had to go. It will give some idea when I say that on one flank we had to go 1,750 yards over big rolling country. Everyone knows what it is like to cross enclosed country which you know really well in a fog and how easy it is to lose your way. Therefore, imagine these rolling hills, with no landmarks and absolutely unknown to anyone. Is it surprising that people lost their way and lost touch with those next to them? As a matter of fact, it was wonderful the way in which many men found their way right to the place we wanted to get to. But as a connected attack it was impossible.
The fog was intense it was practically impossible to keep direction and parties got split up. Owing to the heavy shelling all the Bosches had left their main trenches and were lying out in the open with snipers and machine guns in shell holes, so of course our fellows were the most easy prey.
It is so awfully sad now going about and finding so many splendid fellows gone.An article in the Liverpool Echo on 26/08/1916 describes Charles as "a promising member of the Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute". It also advises that he was living at 78 Belmont Road prior to enlisting.
In his will he left £67, 2 shillings and 10d to his sister Annie Eliza Abell.
Charles is commemorated on the Memorial at St Augustine Church, Everton.
His twin brother Alfred served with the Tank Corps as Serjeant 70149 and survived the war.
Killed On This Day.(103 Years this day)
Sunday 27th January 1918.
L/Sgt 34298 Samuel Armstrong
34 years old