Second Lieutenant Henry Dale

Regiment:  Dragoon Guards, attached to Tank Corps 3rd (Light) Battalion
Service No: Not known
Date & place of birth: 1891, Gunwalloe, Cornwall
Date & place of death:24 April 1918, Western Front

Henry Dale is connected in some way with Stanley Lugg who also is commemorated; both were born in the same Cornish village and their families moved at some time around 1905 to adjacent farms to the north of Petworth. Though Henry is listed as a farm labourer, Henry’s father clearly had some money and this may explain why he became an officer in the Dragoon Guards, a position that normally went to men who had been to Public Schools.

Family background

Henry was born in the village of Gunwalloe near Helston in Cornwall in 1891. His father (also Henry) was presumably a farmer in Cornwall who then moved to Keyfox Farm on the Kirdford road between 1901 and 1911. The mother was named Rhoda; Henry had two brothers Frank and Tom (who became a watchmaker) and sisters Bessie, Nora, Susan, Louisa and Florence. Henry is listed as a farm labourer living at home at Keyfox Farm in 1911.

Military career

Second Lieutenant Dale was in the Dragoon Guards but at some time was seconded to the Tank Corps. Tanks were first used in the First World War but without the success they had in later conflicts: they proved unreliable, and could not function in the deep mud of the Battles of Arras and Ypres. They had more success at Cambrai in late 1917. There is no record of which battle in 1918 the Tank Corps was involved in when Henry was killed.

Death & commemoration

Second Lieutenant Henry Dale was killed in action on 24 April 1918 aged 27. He is buried in the Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers Brettoneaux. He received the Victory and British medals. In his will he left £251 0s 11d.

 Subsequent family history

Henry’s parents moved subsequently to The Knoll, Depot Road, Horsham, but were back in Petworth in Lombard Street by the time of Henry Senior’s death on 5 May 1938. He left £1914 19s 6d.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project