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Ernest (Tim) Dale
William Ernest (known as Tim) was the younger brother of George Frederick Dale (q.v.) He was born in the first quarter of 1892 and his birth registered in Malton He was the Younger son of William and Caroline (nee Gledhill) who married in the Leeds area in the second quarter of 1882. In 1901 the family was living at 3, Market Street in Malton, above William’s drapery shop.
1901 Census – resident at 3 Market Street, Malton
DALE, William, Head, Married, M, 48, General Draper, Nunnington Yorkshire,
DALE, Caroline, Wife, Married, F, 47, , Leeds Yorkshire,
DALE, George Frederick, Son, Single, M, 12, , Malton Yorkshire,
DALE, William Ernest, Son, Single, M, 9, , Malton Yorkshire,
ARUNDALE, Annie, Servant, Single, F, 19, General Servant Domestic, Scagglethorpe Yorkshire,
In 1905 William expanded the shop into the next door no.5, taking over from the rope-
1911 Census – resident at 3 &5 Market Street, Malton
DALE, William, Head, Married, M, 58, Draper, Yorks Nunnington,
DALE, Caroline, Wife, Married 29 years, F, 57, , Yorks Leeds,
DALE, Clarice, Daughter, Single, F, 26, , Yorks Malton,
DALE, William Ernest, Son, Single, M, 19, Drapers Son Working In Shop, Yorks Malton,
MEDD, Agnes, Servant, Single, F, 18, General Servant Domestic, Yorks Helperthorpe,
By the outbreak of war, Tim was already serving in the Regular Army in the Royal Field Artillery. By May 1915 they were training in Bordon when the orders came through for the 51st Brigade to be sent to France. On May 10th they were sent by eight trains down to Southampton and there embarked for Le Havre, arriving there on the 12th May and going to Rest Camp. Over the next couple of days they moved to Wezernnes and re-
The 20th May saw “D” battery go into action for the first time at Messines and during the next few days the whole Brigade saw action, mainly in registering targets from observation posts. On 24th may the men reported feeling the effects of gas in their eyes thought to be drift from heavy use of gas at Ypres. The following day they came under bombardment from six aeroplanes but suffered no casualties. Through the rest of May they came under intermittent howitzer fire but things were on the whole quiet. The first two days of June saw the observation posts heavily shelled and in consequence abandoned.
At the beginning of October the brigade was moved by bus to Poperinghe from where they were moved to the front line at Dickebusch. On October 25th a further re-
During November D/51 was in action between the Ypres -
At the end of December a rumour reached Malton that Tim had been killed at the front, and this rumour was confirmed when his father received a letter from another Malton soldier dated 16th December saying “We had rather a severe shelling today and, of course, we hit back as hard as we could, but they knocked out two men and wounded another two. I am very sorry indeed to tell you that one of the two killed was Tim Dale…I did all I could for him before he passed away. He was badly wounded, and I helped to carry him to the dressing station, but we had just dressed his wounds when he passed away. He opened his eyes once, but did not know me. He only lived for an hour at the most, and was practically unconscious all the time.”
This was confirmed in the Messenger of 8th January 1916 which stated that William Dale had received official confirmation of Tim’s death, and included tributes from his comrades:
“Dear Sir – it is with greatest and deepest sympathy of all the Drivers and Gunners of our Battery, that I am called upon to write you a few lines. No doubt, you will already have head, or received a message from the War Office, informing you that the name of your gallant and patriotic son is now numbered amongst the fallen heroes of our great Empire. Although your loss is far greater than a world of riches or pleasure, you can console yourself that Sergeant Dale died at his post while fulfilling a great and noble duty, namely, that of fighting against a nation who have lost all thoughts of civilisation, and who only seek to crush the defenceless ones of our allied nations. It was with a noble spirit that your son enlisted at the outbreak of war, when our dastardly enemy was committing such crimes of violence and outrage, breaking all rules of international law and rights of civilisation. It is by great and special request of B Subsection (of which Sergt. Dale had charge) Gunners and Drivers, that I am called upon to extend to you their greatest and deepest sympathy in so great a loss. Sergt. Dale was a “father” to all members of his Section, and his calm and tender manner was appreciated by all who were under him. He never tired of attending to the wants and comforts of the boys, and anyone in trouble or anxiety was cheered by the whole-
“…I only did what I know your brother would have been ready to do for any of his comrades. I tried my best to make him as comfortable as possible…He did not suffer much, I am pleased to say, only being conscious for a few minutes…I deeply regret the loss of a good pal, and I can also speak for the men under him. Never one had a wrong word to say of him, and all join with you in your terrible grief. I know it will be awfully hard for you and your father to bear, but you have one consolation – he died a hero’s death. He could have sought safety in a dug-
Tim Dale’s body was not located after the war and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Over the next few days they were moved to billets at Steenwerck, and spent some time installing a telephone exchange to link all the batteries together. The weather was very hot and some men were suffering from sun-
August 11th saw “D” Battery using High Explosive to take out a German trench responsible for sending up Very lights (rockets fired from a brass pistol and used at night in the front line to illuminate No Man's Land so that sentries could be sure the enemy were not approaching.) This was very successful.
By 15th they were moved to Rest Camp, handing their positions complete with wires, maps etc. to the 22nd Brigade. The Colonel and Adjutant spent three hours on the road getting a wagon belonging to “D” battery out of a ditch, arriving at the billets at 3.00 a.m. here they spent the next couple of weeks, before reaching new positions on 31st August. The following days saw much re-