Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Shipbuilding was the theme that ran through the history of the Dagwell family from the time that Harry Palmer's great-grandfather Thomas Dagwell was building boats at Lymington, Hampshire. The trade was carried on by his grandfather John who left Lymington to seek work, initially at Gosport but later at Hull in Yorkshire. And it was Harry Palmer's father, also known as Harry Palmer Dagwell that brought the skills inherited from his father to Portsmouth in the 1890s.
Great-grandfather Thomas was born in 1808 at Lymington, married his wife Ann there and together they had six children by the time of the 1841 Census. The fourth child was John Dagwell who was born in 1838. He does not appear in the 1851 Census and by the next, ten years later, he had moved to Gosport and was living as a lodger on Church Path. On the 2nd February 1863 John married Emma Ann Palmer at St. Mary's Church, Portsmouth and then returned with her to a house in Gosport where their first child Harry Palmer Dagwell was born in 1865.
Three more boys followed Harry before John decided to move his family to Hull in Yorkshire, probably in the mid 1870s. There Harry followed his father into the boat building trade and in 1887 married Annie Elizabeth Ablett, a native of Patrington in Yorkshire. Harry and Annie had four children whilst they were at Hull, Annie, Daisy, Ivy and Bertha, all born between 1889 and 1895. The family then moved south to Portsmouth and were recorded by the 1901 Census as living at 17 Bramble Road, off Fawcett Road, Southsea. There two more children were born, Harry Palmer jnr. (1897) and Arthur (1904).
By 1911 Harry snr. was working as a shipwright in HM Dockyard, Portsmouth whilst Harry jnr. was a 14 year old schoolboy. It's not known if Harry jnr. followed in his father's footsteps but if he did it wasn't for long because three years later the Great War broke out and Harry jnr enlisted in the army. He probably signed on quite early as he joined the 1st/4th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment and they were formed between August and October 1914 when they sailed for India. In March 1915 the battalion was posted to Mesopotamia where they remained for the rest of the war. Harry Dagwell did not survive that long having lost his life in July 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Harry Palmer Dagwell, Private (4797), 1st/4th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died, 25/07/1916, aged 19 years. Buried at the Amara War Cemetery, Iraq, (Grave Ref: XV.C.4.). Son of Harry and Annie Dagwell, of 3, Empshott Rd., Frensham Rd., East Southsea, Portsmouth.
Harry Dagwell is commemorated on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015