Dalzell, Joseph (No. 1476588)

Dalzell, Joseph (Joe)


No. 1476588, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

Died of wounds on Thursday 25 September 1941 (aged 36)


Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya (Grave 6. K. 9)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial


Joseph (Joe) Dalzell was born on 5 March 1905 in Movilla Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William and Agnes Dalzell (nee Gordon) who were married on 18 September 1896 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s).  William Dalzell, a widowed labourer from Movilla Street, Newtownards was a son of James Dalzell, a weaver.  Agnes Gordon, a reeler from Ann Street, Newtownards was a daughter of James Gordon, a mason.

William Dalzell had previously been married to Ellen McQuoide; they were married on 27 October 1888 in Newtownards Methodist Church.  Ellen McQuoide (aged 19) from John Street, Newtownards was a daughter of John McQuoide, a labourer.  Their son, William John, was born on 30 November 1888 in John Street, Newtownards.  Ellen Dalzell died of eclampsia on 21 May 1891 (aged 21).

William and Agnes Dalzell (nee Gordon) lived at 60 Movilla Street, Newtownards.

William Dalzell worked as a wool weaver and general labourer and he and Agnes had thirteen children including:

Martha (born 22 June 1898 in Ann Street, Newtownards)

Agnes (born 6 February 1900 in Church Street, Newtownards)

Susanna (born 24 April 1901 in Movilla Street, Newtownards; died of debility 9 December 1901)

Luke Murray (born 22 June 1902 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Hugh (born 1 September 1903 in Movilla Street, Newtownards; died of gastritis 20 November 1903)

Joseph (born 5 March 1905 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

David (born 11 September 1906 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Robert (born 22 January 1908 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Jane (born 6 May 1910 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Emily Gordon (born 10 December 1911 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

Four of their children died in infancy.

Joseph Dalzell worked as a labourer before he joined the Army and he and Ellen McLarty (aged 20, daughter of Duncan McLarty) were married on 14 July 1931 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  They lived at 5 George Street and later 8 Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards and they had three children.

Joeseph Dalzell’s parents-in-law lived at 27 Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards, as did his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Margaret and James Cardy (Royal Navy).

During the Second World War Gunner Joseph Dalzell (No. 1476588) served with the Royal Artillery and he died on 25 September 1941 during the siege of Tobruk, along with three other men from Newtownards – Gunner Samuel Graham (No. 1483918), Bombardier William John McNeilly (No. 7007543) and Gunner James Meredith (No. 1467261).

Gunner Joseph Dalzell (No. 1476588) was 36 when died of wounds in No. 4 Australian General Hospital, Tobruk, Libya on 25 September 1941 and he was buried in Tobruk War Cemetery.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:




His wife Ellen placed a Killed in Action notice in the 11 October 1941 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

Why what we long for most of all,

Eludes so oft our eager hand;

Why hopes are crushed and castles fall,

Up there sometime we’ll understand.

The following year Ellen and her three children placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

Sleep on, dear Joe, and take your rest,

They miss you most who loved you best.

His parents, sisters and brothers also placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in 1942 and it contained the verse:

A loss so great, a shock severe,

To part with one we loved so dear;

Though great the loss, we’ll not complain,

But trust in Christ to meet again.

In subsequent years there were notices from his wife and children and from his parents.  Some of the notices contained verses, including:

May the Heavenly winds blow softly,

O’er that sweet and hallowed spot;

Though the sea divides us from your grave,

You will never be forgot.


Day by day I sadly miss you,

As it dawns another year;

In my lonely hours of thinking

Thoughts of you are ever near.


Today we are thinking of someone,

Who was loving, kind and true,

Whose smile was as clear as the sunshine,

Dear Joe, that was you.


Sleep on, dear son, in your foreign grave,

A grave we may never see;

But as long as life and memory last

We will remember thee.


In life I loved you very dear.

In death I do the same.


Silent thoughts bring many a tear

For one we miss and loved so dear;

From memory’s page time cannot blot

Three little words – ‘Forget me not.’


I have lost my life’s companion,

A life linked with my own,

God alone knows how I miss him

As I walk through life alone.

Gunner Joseph (Joe) Dalzell is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.  His brother-in-law, James Woods, and his nephew, Gordon Woods, were both on active service.

Joe’s wife Ellen died on 26 November 1985.