William was born on 27 October 1890 to Sarah Ann and Ephraim Dade. His father was a farmer at Manor Farm Saxlingham Green. William was baptised in St. Mary’s Church Saxlingham on 1 February 1891.
He was part of a large family and had 7 sisters and a brother.
Rosa born 1883
Gertrude born 1885
Bessie born 1887
Lucretia born 1888
Isabel Valentine born 14 February 1889 – died 1890
Mabel born 1896
May born 1901
In 1911 William was still living at home at Manor Farm and was working on the farm. He was known as Willie. His father also worked as a carrier. His brother Walter was working as a groom at stables in Seal, Kent. The following year Walter emigrated to Australia, where he married in 1917 and remained until his death in 1941.
William was in the 1/4th Territorial Battalion Norfolk Regiment and as soon as war was declared on 5th August 1914 they were mobilised. They spent the next few months training in Essex and Suffolk. In July 1915 they embarked on S.S Aquitania from Liverpool to the Dardenelles. They arrived there on 9 August 1915. William was part of this as the medal roll index states that he entered the war on 9 August 1915 and he served in the Balkans.
The countryside in which they were fighting was difficult with high hedges, deep ditches and forest in the background which gave cover for snipers. There was also a problem with a lack of water for the troops. By September the number of men in the Battalion fit to fight had been reduced to 376 with 218 in hospital, many suffering from dysentery. In November there was a great blizzard in the area and by December the number of fit men had gone down to 170.This was due to illness and the adverse weather and living conditions. On 15 December the Battalion retreated and left for Egypt.
There they remained during 1916 defending the Suez Canal. In 1917 they were involved in fighting in Palestine which resulted in the taking of Jerusalem on 9th December 1917. They remained in Palestine during 1918 and in September of that year moved northwards ending up in Beirut in November 1918.
William’s service records have not survived but he left the army on 4 April 1919. In the same month he married Maud Clarke, born 26 August 1893, in St. Mary’s Church Saxlingham. Her father was a blacksmith. William was working as a labourer.
In 1920s William and Maud lived at Saxlingham Green but by 1930 they had moved to Woodfarm Bungalow, Shotesham St. Mary.
They had three children
Eric Walter born 3 July 1928
Maurice R born 11 August 1932
Irene Mabel born 3 July 1934
William and Maud continued to live in Shotesham St. Mary and their address in 1939 was Woodfarm Cottages. He was working on a farm as a team man. Their three children were living at home.
William died in March 1964 in Norfolk aged 73 years.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005
UK Census Collection
British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe, (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920)
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxlingham Nethergate.
St Mary’s Church Saxlingham Marriage records (transcribed by Mary Muir)
Tick/Dade Family Tree – www.ancestry.co.uk
The History of the Norfolk Regiment. Vol.II. – F. Loraine Petre. Norwich: Jarrold and Son Ltd. The Empire Press
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