Dalzell, William John
No. 26091, 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 27)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 4 D and 5 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
William John Dalzell was born on 30 November 1888 in John Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William and Ellen Dalzell (nee McQuoid, sometimes McQuoide) who were married on 27 October 1888 in Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards. William Dalzell of Movilla Street, Newtownards worked as a labourer and he was a son of James Dalzell, a weaver. Ellen McQuoid (aged 19) of John Street, Newtownards was a daughter of John McQuoid, a labourer.
William and Ellen Dalzell (nee McQuoid) had one child:
William John (born 30 November 1888 in John Street, Newtownards)
William John was two when his mother Ellen died of eclampsia on 21 May 1891 (aged 21).
In 1901 William John Dalzell (aged 12) was living in John Street with his widowed maternal grandmother, Margaret McQuoid, and his unmarried aunt, Jane McQuoid.
After leaving school William John Dalzell worked as a flax bundler.
William John Dalzell and Sophia Johnston were married on 12 July 1907 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Sophia Johnston from Newtownards was a daughter of John Johnston, a weaver.
William John and Sophia Dalzell (nee Johnston) had four children:
Sophia (born 14 October 1907 in John Street, Newtownards)
Ellen Jane (born 22 February 1909 in John Street, Newtownards)
Maggie (born 22 July 1910 in John Street, Newtownards)
Kathleen Elizabeth Nelson (born 1 January 1913 in John Street, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 21 March 1913)
Their mother, Sophia, died of tuberculosis on 16 April 1914 (aged 26) and on 11 May 1915 their father, William John, married Lavinia Cowan in Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards. Lavinia Cowan (aged 20) was from Little Francis Street in Newtownards and, at the time of their wedding, William John Dalzell was living in South Street, Newtownards.
William John and Lavinia Dalzell (nee Cowan) had one child:
William John (born 4 January 1916 in Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards – six months before his father was killed)
William John Dalzell enlisted in Newtownards and served with the 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 109th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He was posted as missing in action after the first day of the Battle of the Somme and in May 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action on that date.
Private William John Dalzell’s wife Lavinia was living at 3 Movilla Street, Newtownards and she placed a For King and Country notice in the 5 May 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. It contained the verse:
For King and country well he stood,
Unknown to coward’s fears;
With a manly heart he did his part
With the Inniskilling Fusiliers.
He sleeps beside his comrades
In a hallowed grave unknown;
But his name is written with letters of gold
On the hearts he left at home.
Private William John Dalzell (No. 26091) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).