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Private William Henry Horwill - Dawlish World War One Project

Private William Henry Horwill


Service Army Service No. A/202644
Rank Private
Regiment:King's Royal Rifle Corps, 12th Battalion
Date of Birth: 01/05/1877
Born Morchard Bishop
Date of Death: 21/03/1918
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription HORWILL W. PTE. K.R.R.

Service History

William Henry Horwill is shown in some records as enlisting at Exeter in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and is a Rifleman, service no A/202644

12th (Service) Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Formed at Winchester on 21 September 1914 as part of K2 and came under orders of 60th Brigade in 20th (Light) Division.

The War Diary of the KRRC, 12th Battalion, for February 1918 shows them moving as a reserve to various positions along the Somme front, but not being called into action. This continued until 6th March when, until 20th , they prepared the defences of Offoy.

The German Offensive of March 1918 is set out in the profile document for Walter Andrews (q.v.) who was killed on 23rd March on a different part of the Front.

On the 20th the KRRC were ‘stood to’ all day until the evening when “a very heavy bombardment began along the whole front, increasing in intensity until it reached its maximum at about 4 a.m., 21st March. “

The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects lists William Henry Horwill as dying of wounds and further searches are necessary to discover if he had been in hospital.

Association with Dawlish

William Henry Horwill was the eldest child of William Horwill (1848- ) and Sarah, nee Way (1854- ). They appear to have married in 1874 (GRO ref Crediton June 1874, vol 5b, p 707). The father was an agricultural labourer and both parents and all the children were born in Morchard Bishop.

William Henry Horwill appears in the Dawlish census in 1901, age 23, as a carter to James Edwin Lock who was the miller at the flour mill on Brunswick Place. James Lock (1862-1939) was born in Sandford, near Crediton and was first a miller in Upton Hellions before moving to Dawlish, and marrying Mary J Slocombe (1863-1906) in Exeter in 1888. Mary J Slocombe was born in Dawlish.

William Horwill (shown as Herwill on the 1911 census form and as Horwitt in 1901) was still working for James Lock in 1911 at 19 Brunswick Place, and presumably up to the outbreak of war.

Devon Roll of Honour Horwill, William, Pte, K.R.Rifle Corps,
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site


Next of Kin: Annie Louise Victoria Newman, sister & sole legatee. She had married Wiliam T Newman in Cardiff in 1910.
Last Known Address: 19 Brunswick Place, Dawlish (Servant to James Lock, miller)


Cap badge The Kings Royal Rifle Corps

German offensive March 1918

Military history for William Lock, son of James Lock, Horwill's employer

War Diary of the 12th Battalion, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. (National Archives, Kew – WO 95/2021/1)

The Long, Long Trail

Refs via subscription websites:

Census data from 1881 to 1911

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects

National Newspaper Archive

WW1 Service Medal and Award Rolls

WATTSHISNAMES family tree - Ancestry