Private William Blatchford
|Service||Royal Marines||Service No.||PLY/1791(S)|
|Regiment:||Royal Marine Light Infantry, 2nd Royal Marine Battalion|
|Date of Birth:||26/05/1891Born Ipplepen||Date of Death:||26/10/1917|
|Memorial:||Dawlish||Memorial Inscription||BLATCHFORD W. PTE. R.M.L.I.|
William Blatchford may have been conscripted or he could have been an RMLI recruit when he enlisted on 12th February 1917. His papers show that he was a shepherd, baptised in the Church of England.
He was 5’ 10” tall with fresh complexion and blue eyes, and he was sent for training to the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, Kent until 27th May when he was transferred to the strength of the Plymouth Division.
It is likely that he went straight to one of the RND reserve battalions in training at Blandford Camp. The reinforcement draft in July 1917 was formed up at Blandford.
He embarked for France on the 30th June and arrived on 1st July and he was one of a party of 28 other ranks who joined the 2nd Royal Marine Battalion on 2nd September. The battalion then moved forward into support trenches between Gavrelle and Oppy.
See Documents below for further detail.
Association with Dawlish
William Blatchford was the son of a farmer, John Blatchford *, and had been working as a shepherd until he enrolled in the Royal Marines at Exeter on 12th February 1917.
John Blatchford (1850-1930) married Ann Creber(1849-1901) on 1 May 1875. She was also from a farming family, at Sheepstor, and the daughter of John and Elizabeth Creber.
In 1881 they were established at North Huish, Totnes district, with three children.
In 1891 they had moved to Lylesford, Ipplepen where they had four more children.
In 1901 they were established at Hensford Farm House, Dawlish, with two more children:
William, son, 9 born Ipplepen
Grace, dau, 6 “
Ann had died early in the year and John Blatchford was now a widower and working his farm as an employer in his own account. There were six sons and three daughters, the eldest, Ida Mary being shown as “Housekeeper duties”. The five oldest boys are shown as farm workers, at home.
Ten years later, in 1911 still at Hensford Farm, the three oldest children had left home and John Blatchford is still employer of the four younger sons with Emmaline taking over the role of housekeeper. (further detail in 'Documents' below)
|Devon Roll of Honour||Blatchford,. William, Pte, R.M.L.I., 26th Oct 1917|
Commonwealth War Graves Site
|Next of Kin:||John Blatchford, father|
|Last Known Address:||Hensford Farm House, Dawlish|
Free Birth Marriage Death records
National Archive, Kew for R.M. service record
Fleet Air Arm Museum for personnel records
Refs via susbcription websites:
Devon Heritage site for Dawlish War Memorial
UK, RN & RM War Graves Roll
Ware family tree (ancestry.com)