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Herbert Denby

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1877-1917

Reference: G18567

Private Herbert Denby (G18567) of the 7th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment enlisted at the Hampton Hill recruiting office whilst a resident of Hampton Wick, according to a family genealogical site.

He died on 14 February 1917. He has no known grave but his death is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial.

According to another family genealogical site (showing the Freshwater Family Tree), Herbert Denby was born around 1877 in East Molesey which would explain how he met his wife (see below).His mother according to his obituary in The Surrey Comet, still lived in East Molsey at the date of his death.

Herbert Denby’s Service Record survived the World War 2 bomb on the Army Records which destroyed the majority of WW1 service records. Accordingly, we learn from his enlistment papers that, when he enlisted at Hounslow on 17 November 1915, he was a labourer 38 years (and 271 days’ old) who was 5’7¾” tall with a chest measurement (when expanded) of 35”. He was married to Sarah Ellen Denby (nee Turner) who he had married on 25 February 1905 at East Molesey and with whom he lived at 52 Park Road, Hampton Wick. They had two children a son, Herbert Edward born on 29 December 1905 and a daughter, Rosina Maud Annie born on 15 February 1908. Both children had been born in Kingston. According to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 14 April 1917, Private Denby had worked for 9 years as a storekeeper at Wimbledon Station works when he volunteered to enlist under the Derby scheme on 17 November 1915.

His service record shows that he was originally mobilised with the rank of Fusilier to the Royal Fusiliers Depot on 15 June 1916. He then underwent training being posted, as a Private, on 16 June 1916 to the 16th Battalion then the 22nd Battalion from 1 September 1916. Finally he was sent to France as part of the BEF on 4th October 1916 when he was transferred from the Royal Fusiliers (26th Battalion) to the Royal West Kent Regiment as part of the reinforcements following the catastrophic losses on the Somme.

After his wife was notified of his death, she received his personal effects of which she duly acknowledged receipt. A Separation Allowance (interim pension) of 21 shillings a week was paid to her from his death until 9 September 1917. Thereafter, she received a widow’s pension for her and her two children of 22 shillings per week.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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