Private William Frank Tapley

Service Army Service No. 21368
Rank Private
Regiment:Devonshire Regiment, 1st Battalion
Date of Birth: 1884
Born Week, Dawlish
Date of Death: 04/10/1917
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription TAPLEY W.F. PTE DEVON REGT.

Service History

William Frank Tapley may have been conscripted during 1916 to join the Devonshire Regiment. He died during the third battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele. The record shows only “presumed dead” and this implies that his body was not recovered.

Association with Dawlish

In 1878 William John Tapley married Harriet Joanna Davey (1853-1927) who was born in Islington, Middlesex (GRO ref 1878 Apr-Jun, Newton Abbot, vol 5b, page 205).

In 1881, William was a gardener and they had their first child Jane P , aged one, and his mother-in-law, Harriet P Davey, living with them at Wick, Kenton, as well as the parents James and Sarah Tapley and their eldest daughter Sarah Jane. They went on to have four children:

Jane Pinkham Tapley (1880- )

Emily Eliza Tapley (1881-1932)

William Frank Tapley (1884-1917) (GRO Ref 1884 Apr-Jun, St Thomas, Vol 5b, p 82)

Arthur John Tapley (1889-1969) 12/9/1889 (GRO ref 1889 Dec, Newton Abbot, vol 5b, page 106) - (GRO ref 1969 Dec, Newton Abbot, vol 7a, p 1428)
In 1891 the census shows the family at Week in Dawlish parish with the four children at school apart from the youngest, Arthur John, aged one. The grandparents were living in the adjoining property, aged 72 (James) and 75 (Sarah).

In 1901 they had moved to Rise Lodge, Dawlish, and William aged 16 was a gardener like his father.

In 1911 they had moved into Dawlish itself and were living at No 1 Court, High Street and William was the only child still living at home and working as a gardener.

Devon Roll of Honour Tapley, W.G., Pte, Devon Regt (Missing), - , France
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Father, William John Tapley
Last Known Address: 1 Court, High Street, Dawlish

Devonshire Regiment badge

Polderhoek Chateau after 1914 bombardment.

The Menin Road by Paul Nash (1889-1946) repro from The Observer "First World War - The Art of War"

Free Birth Marriage Death refs

Refs via subscription websites:

Census records

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War.

Ancestry family histories;

Lieutenant Richard Tapley tree

Harrison-Hewitt tree