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Harry Hackney Doggett

Date of birth: 1896
Date of death: 13.12.1916
Area: Knottingley
Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers
Family information: Son of John and Lavinia Doggett
Rank: Private
Service number: 5426

War Service

Harry Hackney Doggett was a resident of Keighley when he enlisted in the army, joining the Northumberland Fusiliers. In the absence of his service record it is not certain which battalion he initially joined. There is evidence to suggest that he was posted to France in 1916, to join the 13th Northumberland Fusiliers. However he also served in the 1/4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers.
The 1/4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, a Territorial Force, landed in France on 20th April 1915, part of what was to become the 149th Brigade, of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. The Division was immediately rushed to the front within the Ypres Salient. On the afternoon of 26th April, the 149th Brigade joined the second Battle of Ypres, with an attack on the Verlorenhoek Ridge. Though successfully reaching the summit of the ridge, the 149th Brigade incurred heavy casualties from enemy machine guns and artillery.
On the 24th May, the 1/4th Battalion was again in action near Wieltje, with an attack on Bellewaarde Ridge. The 1/4th Battalion, in Division, was to remain in Flanders, carrying out rotational tours of the front line, for over twelve months. Though they were not engaged in any major assaults, the battalion still incurred many casualties from the enemy machine-guns, snipers and artillery.
The 50th Division left Flanders during May 1916 and, after a period of training and re-organisation, moved to the Somme Battlefield. The Battle of the Somme had begun on the 1st July, but the 50th Division did not enter the battle-zone until August 1916. On 13th September the 1/4th Battalion moved forward from Mametz Wood to the assembly trenches west of High Wood. The battalion was to attack on the right of the 149th Brigade’s front. The assault commenced at 06.20 hrs and was initially successful with the first objective, Hook Trench, taken within forty minutes. However the second objective, Starfish Line, could not be carried. The 1/4th Battalion was relieved at Hook Trench during the following day, having incurred 499 casualties. The Battalion remained on the Somme, being deployed to front line duties and providing working parties.
Shortly after the action at Gird Trench, on 14th November, the 1/4th Battalion was relieved and moved back to Albert. On the 1st December 1916 the battalion moved to a camp at Bresle, a small village four miles south-west of Albert. For the next weeks the 1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers were engaged in training and musketry practice.
On 13th December, when at Bresle Camp, Private Harry Hackney Doggett received accidental injuries from which he died. He was buried in the extension to the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery, which was adjacent to the site of an XV Corps Dressing Station. There are now 2,162 Commonwealth burials and commemorations in the Communal Cemetery Extension, 177 of which are unidentified.

Family Life

Born during the summer of 1896, Harry Hackney Doggett was the son of John and Lavinia Doggett, nee Hackney, of Leeds Road, Outwood. His parents, who were both born in Lincolnshire, married in 1888, their marriage being registered at Holbeach. In January 1892 his parents were living at Leeds Road, Outwood, when his mother gave birth to a son, named John William Doggett. Sadly John William died in infancy, as too did a second son, Walter, who was born in 1895. In 1897, about six months after the birth of Harry Hackney Doggett, her third son, his mother died at the age of 36 years. At this time his father, John Doggett, was employed as a weighman at one of the local collieries. In 1911 Harry Hackney Doggett was attending school and living with his father, who was a general dealer, at Knottingley.

Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension with rows of gravestones Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
black and white image of henry hackett doggett's face and shoulders. he is wearing his army uniform including a cap Henry Hackney Doggett
the white gravestone close up of his grave which has the northumberland fusiliers emblem at the top and the words inscribed below read 5426 private h h doggett northumberland fusiliers 13th december 1916 age 20 he died that i might live Henry Hackney Doggett's gravestone

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