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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
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
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

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.
Charles Abell was born in Everton along with his twin brother Alfred on 27th December 1885 the son of Alexander and Mary Abell (nee Edwards).  His parents were both born in Hereford and were married on 13/08/1871 at St Timothy's Church, Everton. The twin brothers were baptised in the same Church on 10/02/1886.

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.

17th Battalion Diary 30th July 1916

The Battalion was in support to 19 & 20 Bn K.L.R. 2 Coys. behind  19th & 2 Coys. behind  20th. Very thick mist. The attack was pushed home to the objective in places but in the main was held up by machine gun fire from hidden machine guns.

Fighting continued all day swaying backwards and forwards until by 6pm about 300 yards in depth had been gained & consolidated all along our front.

Casualties in the 17th Battalion were 15 Officers and 281 Other Ranks

Further details are reported in more detailed by Everard Wyrall in his book The History of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-1919 Volume II 1916-1917

The 17th King’s had advanced (two companies each behind the 19th and 20th Battalions) in small columns. They too suffered heavily from machine-gun fire and were quickly absorbed into the waves that preceded them. They also shared the gains and losses of that terrible day.

When darkness fell on the battlefield the 30th Division held a line from the railway on the eastern side of Trones Wood , southwards and including Arrow Head Copse, to east of Maltz Horn Farm. On this line the division was relieved by the 55th Division during the early hours of the 31st July.

 

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.

Guillemont

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.

(104 Years this day)
Thursday 17th May 1917.
Pte 59030 Percy Croysdale Cleminson
31 years old

(104 Years this day)
Thursday 17th May 1917.
Corporal 33376 William Eric Sweetman
20 years old

(103 Years this day)
Friday 17th May 1918.
Pte 37751 James Milligan Mccormick
26 years old