Lance Corporal William George Daniels MM

Regiment:  Queens (Royal West Surrey)
Service No: T/206816
Date and place of birth: 1885 in Harting, Sussex
Date and place of death:  4 October 1917 in France and Flanders

Family background

William George Daniels was the eldest son of William and Harriet Daniels, nee Aylward, who had married in Midhurst in 1885.

In 1891 William (29) and Harriet (26) were living in North Street, Midhurst, Sussex with their children: Maud (7), William (6), Annie (4) and Alice (2 months). William was working as a bricklayer’s labourer.

In 1901 the family was living at 9 Railway Terrace, Midhurst. William was working as a builder’s labourer and Harriet as a laundress, with them were: William George (16) working as a gardener, Alice (10), Horace (9) and Frederick (7).

By 1911, William and Harriet Daniels were living in Carron Lane, Midhurst with Horace (19), also a bricklayer’s labourer and Frederick (17), a blacksmith’s striker, as well as a boarder John Pressing (18), a butcher’s assistant.

Alice Daniels (20) was living at the home of John and Emma Knight at Blaen Rhomeda, Sturt Road, Haslemere, Surrey.  She was listed as their niece.

Maud Daniels had married Charles Alexander White in 1908. In 1911 Charles White (27) was working as a builder’s labourer and living at 3 Cussies Row, Midhurst. With him were Maud Jessie White (27), Charles Arthur White (2) and a boarder Harry Kimm (20), a bread baker.

William George Daniels (26) was working as a gardener and living at The Gardens, Normanhurst, Battle, Sussex. He completed an individual census form but living at the same address were William Allen (65), his wife Fanny (63), Edith Allen (24), William Price (33) and Christian Crouch (19).

Alice Helen Daniels married George Garlick in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada on 17 April 1914.

Military service

William George Daniels enlisted in Guildford. He gave his place of residence as Emerson, Manitoba, Canada and his next of kin as William and Harriet Daniels, also of Manitoba, Canada. His records show him to have joined the 3rd/4th Battalion of the Royal West Surrey which was formed from excess personnel of the 2nd/4th Battalion, joining the 53rd  Division as a composite battalion. In July 1915, it moved to Tunbridge Wells, Kent, as part of the 200th Brigade of the 67th Division. In October 1915 it moved to Reigate, then Ramsgate and, finally, to Westbere before being mobilised for war on 1 June 1917. The battalion was involved in the Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October) and it is likely that William Daniels was a casualty of this action.

He was awarded the Military Medal, confirmed in the London Gazette. He was also awarded Victory and British medals.

Death and commemoration

William Daniels was killed in action 4 October 1917. He is commemorated on the Midhurst War Memorial, Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church and Tyne Cot Memorial, panel 14 to 17 and 162 to 162A. He is also commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial: page 576 and his name is recorded in the First World War Book of Remembrance which is kept in the Memorial Chamber in Peace Tower, Ottawa, Canada. The relevant page is due to be displayed on December 14 2014.

Subsequent family history

Harriet Daniels died in 1937, aged 72, and William Daniels in 1941, aged 79, both in Midhurst.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project